California Gov. Gavin Newsom partly blamed Fox News for fueling the vitriol against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her husband, Paul, who was attacked by an intruder with a hammer at the couple’s San Francisco home last week.
“I’ve seen the dehumanization of Nancy Pelosi,” Newsom told CBS News’ chief Washington correspondent Major Garrett in an exclusive interview on Saturday. “I don’t think anyone’s been dehumanized like she has consistently. Now I watched this one guy, Jesse Watters or something on Fox News. What he’s been saying about Paul Pelosi the last five, six months, mocking him consistently. Don’t tell me that’s not aiding and abetting all this. Of course it is.”
“They’re sowing the seeds, creating a culture and a climate like this,” Newsom said. “I mean, look online. Look at the sewage that is online that they amplify on these networks and in social media to dehumanize people like Nancy Pelosi and other political leaders.”
CBS News reached out to Fox News and Watters on Monday and had not heard back by 5 p.m. ET. Watters said on his show on Monday night that Newsom “thinks if you mock a Democrat, it puts him on a target list.”
“If anything, Gavin Newsom has done more to aid and abet this attack on Paul Pelosi than anybody,” Watters said, alleging Newsom’s policies allow people like the alleged attacker to be on the streets
David Wayne DePape, the suspect in the attack, had a list of people he wanted to target, law enforcement sources briefed on the investigation according to Capitol Police.to CBS News. He allegedly broke into the couple’s home around 2 a.m. on Friday, “Where is Nancy?” The Democratic leader was in Washington, D.C., at the time of the attack,
Paul Pelosi underwent surgery on Friday for his injuries.
Newsom implied that he has also been on the receiving end of threats and that they’ve become more serious.
“I know what over the last three years has come in my inbox,” he said. “Trust me, you don’t, because I’m not sharing it. I don’t even share it with my wife. I got four kids. So I know a little bit about this. I mean, it wasn’t just a recall against me. It was surround sound in every way, shape or form.”
“Look, there’s always folks in the extreme and you roll your eyes,” he continued. “This is — something is different here. There’s, you know, the mind is being stretched. People feel free to shove again.”
Watch more of Major Garrett’s exclusive interview with California Gov. Gavin Newsom on the “CBS Evening News” on Tuesday.