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Donald Trump
stated on November 1, 2022 in a podcast interview:
At the Pelosi house, “the glass it seems was broken from the inside to the out, so it wasn’t a break-in, it was a breakout.”
true pants-fire
Former President Donald Trump shouts to supporters at a rally, Oct. 22, 2022, in Robstown, Texas. (AP) Former President Donald Trump shouts to supporters at a rally, Oct. 22, 2022, in Robstown, Texas. (AP)

Former President Donald Trump shouts to supporters at a rally, Oct. 22, 2022, in Robstown, Texas. (AP)

Gabrielle Settles
By Gabrielle Settles November 2, 2022

Donald Trump’s conspiracy theory about broken glass at the Pelosi house

If Your Time is short

  • San Francisco Police Chief William Scott said David DePape, 42, broke into a rear entrance of the Pelosi home.

  • A criminal complaint and arrest warrant filed by the Justice Department said DePape told officers that he used a hammer to break into the house. 

  • Investigators reported that both DePape and Paul Pelosi told them that DePape was looking for Nancy Pelosi.

Former President Donald Trump elevated a conspiracy theory about the violent assault against Paul Pelosi, falsely saying it wasn’t the result of a break-in at the Pelosis’ San Francisco house.

During an interview on "The Chris Stigall Podcast," Trump told Stigall that "weird things" had been happening in the Pelosi household in recent weeks. Paul Pelosi is married to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. Trump then suggested that reports of a break-in were wrong.

"The glass it seems was broken from the inside to the out, so it wasn’t a break-in, it was a breakout. I don’t know, you hear the same things I do," Trump said Nov. 1.

Trump’s claim echoes conspiracy theories being pushed by right-wing pundits and amplified on social media.

An Oct. 31 Instagram post shared a photo of a segment of the Fox News show "Tucker Carlson Tonight." The left side of the photo shows Carlson speaking, on the right side, people see aerial footage of the Pelosi home. 

"NOTICE: The broken glass is on (the) outside! THAT MEANS THE BREAK IN WAS STAGED! Broken from inside out!" the post’s caption said.

That post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram.)

Investigators have provided many details about the incident that happened in the early morning Oct. 28. There is no indication the break-in was staged.

The FBI and the San Francisco Police Department found that 42-year old David DePape’s attack left 82-year old Paul Pelosi unconscious with serious injuries, including a skull fracture.

San Francisco Police Chief William Scott said in an Oct. 28 press conference that DePape "forced entry into a rear door at the rear of the Pelosi home." 

On Nov. 1, CNN’s Anderson Cooper asked Scott about Trump’s claim.

Cooper said: "As you may know, the former president has called into question the circumstances of the attack. You've said previously, this was a break-in. That is still accurate, yes?" 

"Yes. That is absolutely accurate. This was a break-in. There is no doubt in anybody's mind it had anything to do with this investigation of whether or not this was a break-in," Scott said. "This was a break-in, plain and simple. Evidence is overwhelmingly clear and I don't know why anybody would say otherwise, but I am here to tell you that it was a break-in."

A Justice Department criminal complaint and arrest warrant said that DePape told authorities he "broke into the house through a glass door, which was a difficult task that required the use of a hammer."

"When officers removed DePape from Pelosi’s residence, police body worn camera footage showed a glass door that appeared to be laminated glass, broken near the door handle," the report said. 

The federal complaint also said Paul Pelosi told officers that DePape came into the bedroom where he was sleeping and woke him up, saying "that he wanted to talk to ‘Nancy.’" 

DePape told officers that he wanted to hold Nancy Pelosi hostage, talk to her, and break "her kneecaps" if she lied. Nancy Pelosi was not in the house when the attack happened.

The federal criminal complaint said DePape had zip ties, tape, rope, and at least one hammer with him that morning.

DePape has been charged with attempted murder, residential burglary, assault with a deadly weapon, elder abuse, false imprisonment of an elder, and threats to a public official and their family, interim San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins said Oct. 31 at a press conference. DePape also faces federal charges of assault on the immediate family member of a federal official and attempted kidnapping of a federal official.

Our ruling

Trump claimed that at the Pelosi house, "the glass it seems was broken from the inside to the out, so it wasn’t a break-in, it was a breakout."

This is refuted by police and accounts Pelosi and DePape told officials.

A Justice Department criminal complaint says DePape told authorities he broke into the house through a glass door and that he wanted to take Nancy Pelosi hostage.

Local and federal law enforcement authorities have charged DePape with numerous crimes, including attempted murder, assault on the immediate family member of a federal official and attempted kidnapping of a federal official.

Trump’s claim isn’t supported by evidence. We rate it Pants on Fire!

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Donald Trump’s conspiracy theory about broken glass at the Pelosi house

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