Paul Pelosi attends Kennedy Center honors, first public appearance since attack


Paul Pelosi, the husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, made her first public appearance Sunday at the Kennedy Center of Honor after she was brutally attacked in late October.

President Joe Biden shook his fist at Paul Pelosi, who sat nearby, as he walked to his seat with first lady Jill Biden. Paul Pelosi wore a black hat as he recovered from a head injury.

He was looking for the Speaker of the House of Representatives when he was attacked with a hammer by a male assailant at the couple’s San Francisco home, according to court documents. Nancy Pelosi’s spokesman, Drew Hamill, said in a statement at the time that Paul Pelosi had undergone surgery for “skull fracture repair and serious injuries to his right arm and hand” after the attack.

Earlier Sunday, Biden congratulated the recipients of the 45th Kennedy Center Honors, welcoming them to the White House ahead of a star-studded celebration of American art.

“Tonight we celebrate, without exaggeration, a truly remarkable group of artists – a group of artists who embody the spirit of ‘We the People.'” This year’s Kennedy Center honorees – they are all an amazing group people,” Biden said.

The President detailed all the recipients, their accomplishments and contributions to the arts. The winners include George Clooney, Amy Grant, Gladys Knight, Tania Leon and all four members of Irish rock band U2.

Recipients selected by the Kennedy Center Executive Committee or its Board of Trustees based on contributions to American culture were saluted before their peers in the Kennedy Center Opera House. The event will air on December 28.

The Bidens’ attendance marks the second year that the first family has continued a longstanding tradition that was interrupted during the Trump administration.

In 2017, then-President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump declined to attend the Kennedy Center’s awards ceremony because the two recipients of that year, television writer and producer Norman Lear and dancer Carmen de la Vallard – said they would skip Trump’s reception at the Kennedy Center. The White House, citing political beliefs.

At the time, the White House said Trump’s decision would allow artists to “celebrate without any political interference.”

On Sunday, Biden addressed the honorees and concluded his remarks with a message of unity.

“In the midst of the great division, this is President Lincoln’s plea. In this day and age when there is so much hate, too much anger, too much division in America and, frankly, in the world, we better remember that. We must remember Today, as they sing – we are one, but we are not the same. We are going to support each other,” Biden said, slightly misquoting U2’s lyrics, which read: “For all my life, But we are different.”

Some of the notable attendees at the White House include Sacha Baron Cohen, Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood, Sean Penn, Julia Roberts, Amal Clooney, Matt Damon, and former Washington DC police officer Michael Fanone, who was at the U.S. Capitol January 6, 2021, Uprising. Also in attendance were Vice President Kamala Harris, Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra and Education Secretary Miguel Cardona.

This story has been updated with additional developments.

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