NBC has retracted a story that aired yesterday about the attack on Paul Pelosi that spurred conspiracy theories about the assault, saying the "Today" show segment "did not meet NBC News reporting standards."
The report by NBC News National Correspondent Miguel Almaguer, which relied on anonymous sourcing, erroneously indicated Paul Pelosi answered the door to police officers prior to being attacked and gave no signal to law enforcement that he was in danger, instead walking back toward his assailant and away from police.
"The decision was made to remove the segment after it was determined, shortly after it aired, that the main source for the information was unreliable regarding the question of the circumstances that the police encountered when they arrived at the house," a person with knowledge of the situation, who asked not to be named in order to discuss the reporting, told Insider.
NBC specifically called into question "what the police saw and how far the attacker was from the door," they added.
Almaguer's reporting contradicted what officials have revealed about the incident — specifically, that Pelosi was struggling with the attacker when they arrived and entered the home, having responded to his 911 call.
"Why Pelosi didn't try to flee or tell responding officers he was in distress is unclear," The Washington Post reported Almaguer said in the now-removed original segment, adding: "We still don't know exactly what unfolded between Mr. Pelosi and the suspect for the 30 minutes they were alone inside that house before police arrived."
The attack on the husband of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has been the subject of intense scrutiny and unverified conspiracy theories — including that 82-year-old Paul Pelosi knew his attacker, David DePape, 42, or that the two were engaged in a romantic or sexual relationship prior to the assault, which has been debunked by facts found in a federal affidavit.
"Paul Pelosi opened the door for police, didn't run outside or flee then, instead he walked back to the hippie nudist and was attacked with a hammer then? This story keeps getting weirder," radio host Clay Travis tweeted with a clip of the segment.
Fox News personality Tucker Carlson reported on the NBC segment after it was retracted, calling the now-retracted details "explosive."
Pelosi was released from the hospital on Thursday after he was admitted with a skull fracture following the attack. The San Francisco District Attorney has called the attack "politically motivated" based on statements made by DePape following his apprehension. DePape now faces federal and state felony charges.