Nikki Haley, Trump’s main Republican rival, seeks Secret Service protection


Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley, Donald Trump’s last rival in the primary race, has requested protection from the American secret service, the campaign announced Monday.

Although the campaign did not reveal any specific threats that prompted the request, Haley, the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, was the target of two “swatting” incidents, one on Dec. 30 and one another on January 1, Reuters previously reported.

In recent days, protesters opposing Haley’s support for additional military aid to Ukraine or supporting Trump’s candidacy have regularly disrupted or demonstrated near her events in South Carolina ahead of the Feb. 24 primary.

Haley told the Wall Street Journal while campaigning in South Carolina, she made the request.

“We had several problems,” she said. “It’s not going to stop me from doing what I need to do.”

Haley, she served as governor of South Carolina from 2011 to 2017.

The Secret Service often provides security for major presidential candidates, both in general and primary elections.

Under federal regulations, such protection must be authorized by the Secretary of Homeland Security in consultation with the five-member Congressional Advisory Committee, including the top Democrats and Republicans in the Senate and House of Representatives.

The Department of Homeland Security did not immediately comment on Haley’s request for protection, which was first reported by The Wall Street Journal.

Swatting is the filing of false reports to police to trigger a potentially dangerous response from officers. Law enforcement experts see it as a form of intimidation or harassment increasingly used against prominent figures, including officials involved in the civil and criminal cases against Trump.

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The FBI was tracking one of the hoaxes that led to the swatting incident at Haley’s South Carolina home in December and intended to open a “threat assessment,” according to an email obtained by Reuters in January.

Haley said her parents were home during the December incident.

In the battle to take on Democratic President Joe Biden in November’s general election, Trump leads Haley by more than 56 percentage points, according to an average compiled by polling analysis site FiveThirtyEight. In South Carolina, Trump leads by about 32 points.

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