Nikki Haley requests Secret Service detail after increased threats

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SPARTANBURG, S.C. — Nikki Haley’s presidential campaign has requested a protective detail from the Secret Service, a spokesperson for Haley confirmed Monday.

Haley, the former governor of South Carolina and U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, cited “multiple issues” regarding threats in an interview with The Wall Street Journal, which first reported on her application for Secret Service protection.

The Secret Service did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday night.

Haley, who is former President Donald Trump’s only major primary opponent, was recently the target of two swatting incidents just days apart. Swatting involves a fake report of a crime to draw police to a specific location — in Haley’s cases, her home on Kiawah Island, South Carolina.

On Dec. 30 and Jan. 1, police responded to reports of gun violence and threats of self-harm, which led them to Haley’s home, where a caregiver was with Haley’s parents. Haley was not at home during either incident.

The secretary of homeland security is authorized by law to identify “major presidential and vice presidential candidates” who can have Secret Service protection.

In making a decision, the secretary can consider factors like threats against a candidate, polling statistics and whether the candidate is the de facto nominee of a major party, according to the Secret Service’s website.

As a former president, Trump has Secret Service protection.

Haley discussed receiving threats Friday with reporters, saying it’s “just a reality.”

“Part of running for public life is that you’re going to deal with the threats that are there. That’s not going to deter me,” she said. “Does it mean we have to put a few more bodies around us? Yes, that’s fine. But at the end of the day, we’re going to go out there and touch every hand.”

The Secret Service request comes amid new security measures at recent Haley campaign events. Security dogs were used at a Sunday night rally in Charleston, while guests at journalists at a Jan. 28 rally walked through metal detectors or were scanned with a metal-detecting wand upon entry.

Numerous politicians and public officials have been targeted in recent months by swatting incidents, including members of Congress, local officials and people involved with legal cases surrounding Trump. U.S. Capitol Police recently said they investigated more than 8,000 overall threats against members of Congress last year.

Ali Vitali and Alex Rhoades reported from Spartanburg and Megan Lebowitz from Washington.


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