California Gov. Gavin Newsom partly blamed Fox News for firing a weapon against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her husband Paul, who were attacked by a hammer-wielding attacker at the couple’s San Francisco home last week.
“I saw the dehumanization of Nancy Pelosi,” Newsom told CBS News Chief Washington Correspondent Major Garrett in an exclusive interview Saturday. “I don’t think anyone has been dehumanized like she has been consistently. Now I was watching this one guy, Jesse Watters or something on Fox News. What he’s been saying about Paul Pelosi for the last five or six months has been constantly mocking him. Don’t tell me this isn’t aiding and abetting all of this. Of course it is.’
“They’re planting the seeds, creating the culture and that climate,” Newsom said. “I mean, look on the internet. Look at the network drains they’re amplifying on these networks and social media to dehumanize people like Nancy Pelosi and other political leaders.”
CBS News reached out to Fox News and Watters on Monday and did not hear back by 5 p.m. ET. Waters said on his show Monday night that Newsom “thinks if you make fun of a Democrat, that puts him on the target list.”
“If anything, Gavin Newsom has done more than anyone to aid and abet this attack on Paul Pelosi,” Watters said, arguing that Newsom’s policies allow people like the alleged attacker to be on the streets.
Attack suspect David Wayne DePape had a list of people he wanted to target, law enforcement sources told the investigation confirmed on CBS News. He is believed to have broken into the couple’s home around 2am on Friday, to shout – Where is Nancy? The Democratic leader was in Washington, D.C., at the time of the attack. according to Capitol Police.
Paul Pelosi underwent surgery on Friday for his injuries.
Newsom hinted that he had also received threats and that they had become more serious.
“I know what has come into my inbox in the last three years,” he said. “Trust me, you don’t, because I don’t share it. I don’t even share it with my wife. I have four kids. So I know a little bit about it. I mean, it wasn’t just a recall against me. It was surround sound in every way, shape and form.”
“Look, there are always people at the extremes, and you roll your eyes,” he continued. “This is something different here. There, you know, the mind is stretched. People feel free, push again.”
Watch more of Major Garrett’s exclusive interview with California Governor Gavin Newsom on Tuesday’s CBS Evening News.