Donald Trump Jr. mocked the attack on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's husband Paul on social media by sharing a "Halloween costume" intended to represent the hammer-wielding intruder.
Trump Jr. shared an image Sunday night showing a hammer lying on top of a pair of Hanes underwear with the comment: "Got my Paul Pelosi Halloween costume ready."
"The internet remains undefeated … Also if you switch out the hammer for a red feather boa you could be Hunter Biden in an instant," Trump Jr. wrote.
He also posted a screenshot of the image on his Instagram, racking 88,000 likes. The underwear in his post appears to reflect a debunked rumor that the intruder was in his underwear at the time of the attack.
\u201cThe internet remains undefeated\u2026 Also if you switch out the hammer for a red feather boa you could be Hunter Biden in an instant.\u201d— Donald Trump Jr. (@Donald Trump Jr.) 1667181331
Paul Pelosi was "violently assaulted" with a hammer in his California home on October 28, according to San Francisco Police Chief William Scott. He suffered a fractured skull and injuries to his right arm and hands and underwent surgery on Friday.
The intruder planned to keep him tied up until the speaker returned home, law enforcement sources told CBS News.
The suspect, who was identified as David Wayne DePape, had a list of people he wanted to target, according to law enforcement sources that spoke with CBS News.
DePape's social media revealed memes and conspiracy theories he posted about Holocaust denial, COVID vaccines, pedophiles in the government and claims that Democratic officials run child sex rings.
The speaker posted a statement on Twitter saying that her family is "heartbroken and traumatized" by the "life threatening attack" on her husband.
But right-wing personalities on Twitter mocked the attack on Paul Pelosi — with some even spreading falsehoods and amplifying misinformation.
Larry Elder, a conservative radio host, reacted to the assault by ridiculing Pelosi for his prior charge of driving under the influence.
"First, he's busted for DUI, and then gets attacked in his home. Hammered twice in six months," he wrote, adding, "Too soon?"
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA)., called the media a "source of misinformation" and continued to promote the falsehood that the intruder was Paul Pelosi's friend.
"The same mainstream media democrat activists that sold conspiracy theories for years about President Trump and Russia are now blaming @elonmusk for 'internet misinformation' about Paul Pelosi's friend attacking him with a hammer," Greene tweeted.
Others went as far as suggesting the attack was fake. Dinesh D'Souza, whose widely-debunked recent film "2000 Mules" pushed Trumpist election conspiracy theories, continued to spread misinformation on Twitter.
"The Left is going crazy because not only are we not BUYING the wacky, implausible Paul Pelosi story but we are even LAUGHING over how ridiculous it is. What this means is that we are no longer intimidated by their fake pieties. Their control over us has finally been broken," D'Souza wrote.
Far-right Arizona Republican lawmaker Wendy Rogers retweeted a post mocking the attack as "fake" and displaying a bloody hammer.
Arizona Republican lawmaker Wendy Rogers has retweeted a post mocking the attack on Speaker Nancy Pelosi's husband as "fake" and displaying a bloody hammer. The Amazon product listing shown in the tweet appears to be totally phony. pic.twitter.com/ZpXDA06LBc
— Nick Martin (@nickmartin) October 30, 2022
The skepticism regarding the incident seems to have grown after Evan Sernoffsky, a reporter at the Fox-affiliated local news outlet KTVU, tweeted that the attacker was in his underwear at the time of his arrest. Sernoffsky deleted the tweet and said that sources told him this was untrue.
Some people have even floated the baseless conspiracy theory that Paul Pelosi and DePape were lovers.
The Telegram channel for Bannon's "War Room" show shared a story from "The Republic Brief" that repeated some of "the same uncorroborated details about the encounter, including that the suspect was found in his underwear," the Washington Post reported.
D'souza also amplified the theory on his Twitter.
"Were Paul Pelosi and his attacker BOTH in their underwear? BOTH holding hammers? And the attacker didn't strike until AFTER police were on the scene? As a movie-maker, I gotta say this script must be rejected. Nothing about the public account so far makes any sense," he wrote.
Some conservatives have tried to spin the apparently politically motivated attack by tying it to crime in San Francisco. "Last Week Tonight" host John Oliver on Sunday called out right-wing claims linking the attack to bail reform after Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX), complained on Fox News about letting "dangerous criminals" roam free and commit violence. McCaul suggested that the intruder who attacked Paul Pelosi was out on bail.
"Now, he's wrong about a few things there. Again, the suspect was not out on bail. Also, no one gets bailed out of prison—that's where convicted people go," Oliver said.
People have continued to spread falsehoods about the hammer attack, including new Twitter owner Elon Musk, who amplified a baseless conspiracy theory from a site suggesting that Paul Pelosi was drunk and in a fight with a male prostitute. "There is a tiny possibility there might be more to this story than meets the eye," Musk wrote before deleting the tweet hours later.
Reprinted with permission from Alternet.