Aide to Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs resigns after controversial tweet
Mar 29, 2023, 9:43 AM | Updated: 10:14 am
PHOENIX – A top aide to Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs resigned after creating a controversy with a social media post made in the wake of the Nashville school shooting, the governor’s office confirmed Wednesday.
“The Governor does not condone violence in any form. This administration holds mutual respect at the forefront of how we engage with one another,” Hobbs said in a statement. “The post by the Press Secretary is not reflective of the values of the administration. The Governor has received and accepted the resignation of the Press Secretary.”
Hobbs had been under pressure to fire Josselyn Berry when news outlets started reporting that the Democratic governor’s press secretary stepped down. Arizona’s Family was first to report the resignation.
Berry posted a tweet Monday night with an image of a woman holding pistols in each hand and the caption “Us when we see transphobes.” The image is of actress Gena Rowlands from the 1980 movie “Gloria.”
By Wednesday morning, Berry’s Twitter account was set to “protected.”
The post drew widespread criticism for appearing to promote gun violence hours after three students and three adults were killed at The Covenant School in Nashville.
The shooter, who was killed by police at the scene, was identified as 28-year-old Audrey Hale, a former student at the private school. Police have indicated Hale was transgender.
The negative response to the tweet came from across the political spectrum, from liberal pundit Keith Olbermann to right-wing activist Charlie Kirk.
This, from AZ Gov @katiehobbs' spokesperson Josselyn Berry hours after the Nashville school shooting, is abhorrent and indefensible. And to go 36 hours without comment?
— Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann) March 29, 2023
This is Governor Katie Hobbs's press secretary, Josselyn Berry, advocating for violence against those who oppose the radical Trans agenda. pic.twitter.com/5dH7aCmi8U
— Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) March 29, 2023
The local response included calls for Berry to resign from Republican state Sen. Anthony Kern and Rep. Travis Grantham.
— Anthony Kern (@anthonykernAZ) March 29, 2023
Josselyn Berry needs to resign immediately if she hasn’t already been fired for her dangerous rhetoric. If some whack job takes a shot at someone she needs to be held personally responsible. What an absolute fool. pic.twitter.com/SLWCoPlGTE
— Travis Grantham (@TravisGrantham) March 29, 2023