PHOENIX — Arizona law enforcement officers are investigating an apparent death threat against the state's top elections official.
Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs said the threat was made on Parler, a social media site that’s become a haven for conservatives and extremist views.
“The threat was something like, ‘Let’s burn her house down and kill her and her family, and teach these fraudsters a lesson,’” Hobbs said.
Hobbs’ home address and personal information, as well as her son’s cell phone number, were also posted on Parler, she said.
“When someone ‘doxxes’ you, there’s the fear they can mess with your credit,” Hobbs said. “So I’ve had to put credit freezes on me and all my family members.”
The social media attacks started last week after a 3-year-old tweet from Hobbs went viral:
“President Trump has made it abundantly clear he's more interested in pandering to his neo-nazi base than being president for all Americans," the tweet read.
Hobbs wrote the post after a woman was killed in August 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia, at a rally by white supremacists.
”I stand by the tweet,” Hobbs said. “I was not targeting every single Trump supporter. It was clearly geared toward people who supported the actions at this rally.”
The result has been a state office under siege on social media and on its phone lines by "nasty, abusive callers." Lines are being rerouted and comment spaces are being shut down.
“It’s coming in too fast and furious to monitor,” Hobbs said.
The ultimate blame for the threat, Hobbs said, lies with elected officials.
“There are high-profile elected officials in the state of Arizona who continue to fuel these baseless conspiracy theories and call into question the integrity of the election,” Hobbs said.
“They won’t stop, and this is the consequence of that.”
Hobbs cited Arizona Republican Party chair Kelli Ward as one of the people spreading conspiracy theories.
The party issued this statement: “The Republican Party of Arizona condemns in the strongest possible terms any and all threats of violence.”
Department of Public Safety spokesman Bart Graves said via email that the agency was often assigned to investigate threats made to elected state officials.
"Due to the sensitive nature of these investigations, the department cannot provide details until the investigation has been concluded," Graves said.
Gov. Doug Ducey’s chief of staff, Daniel Scarpinato, told 12 News that Ducey was aware of the threat.
“We don’t condone threats against any elected officials and would provide any and all resources that are needed to ensure the secretary .. and her family are safe and protected,” Scarpinato said.
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