Presidential Candidate Nikki Haley Seeks Secret Service Protection Amid Threats
Nikki Haley’s presidential campaign has officially requested a Secret Service protective detail, according to a representative for Haley on Monday.
The former governor of South Carolina and US ambassador to the United Nations cited “multiple issues” regarding threats in an interview with The Wall Street Journal, which initially reported on her application for Secret Service protection.
Haley Raises Security Concerns in Wall Street Journal Interview
Despite the confirmation, the Secret Service did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Monday night.
Haley, who stands as former President Donald Trump’s only major primary opponent, recently faced two swatting incidents within days of each other.
Swatting involves the hoax reporting of a crime to direct law enforcement to a specific location. In Haley’s case, the incidents occurred at her residence on Kiawah Island, South Carolina.
On December 30 and January 1, police responded to reports of gun violence and threats of self-harm, which led them to Haley’s home, where a caregiver was present with Haley’s parents. Notably, Haley was not at home during either incident.
According to law, the secretary of homeland security has the authority to identify “major presidential and vice presidential candidates” eligible for Secret Service protection.
Factors such as threats against a candidate, polling statistics, and whether the candidate is the de facto nominee of a major party are considered in the decision-making process, according to the Secret Service’s website.
As a former president, Trump retains Secret Service protection.
Nikki Haley’s Resilience in the Face of Threats
Haley addressed the threats with reporters on Friday, acknowledging them as an inevitable aspect of public life.
She emphasized her determination, stating, “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.” Haley further expressed willingness to increase security measures if necessary but asserted her commitment to engage with the public directly.
The request for Secret Service protection coincides with heightened security measures at recent Haley campaign events.
At a Sunday night rally in Charleston, security dogs were employed, while attendees and journalists at a January 28 rally underwent metal detector scans or wand screenings upon entry.
In recent months, numerous politicians and public officials, including members of Congress and local officials, have been targeted by swatting incidents.
The US Capitol Police reported investigating over 8,000 threats against members of Congress last year, underscoring the concerning trend of escalating threats against public figures.