Nikki Haley requests Secret Service protection amid rising threats

Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley says she has asked the US Secret Service for protection due to ongoing threats of violence against her.

Ms Haley told The Wall Street Journal on Monday afternoon that she had officially applied for help from the agency, which protects senior US politicians and their families.

It comes after at least two ‘swatting’ attempts against the former South Carolina governor, in which police were called to her house by false reports of violence.

“We’ve had multiple issues,” Ms Haley told the Journal after a campaign event in South Carolina. “It’s not going to stop me from doing what I need to do.”

Swatting is when a caller makes a police report for a residence that is not their own, claiming that a violent crime is being committed at the location. Police – sometimes SWAT units, hence the name – then rush to and into the home, often with guns drawn, to address the report.

Cases have surged over the past two months, according to Reuters, targeting both allies and rivals of former president Donald Trump as his re-election campaign gets rolling in earnest.

Last month, a California teenager was arrested for allegedly running a swatting-for-hire service that prosecutors say facilitated “hundreds of swatting and bomb threat incidents” throughout the US.

Ms Haley, who served as US ambassador to the United Nations under Donald Trump, has been sanguine about the incidents.

At a news conference last week, she told reporters that, while it was clear she needed to “put a few more bodies around” her and her family, politicians facing threats was “just the reality” of modern political campaigning.

“At the end of the day, we’re going to go out there and touch every hand, we’re going to answer every question, we’re going to make sure that we are there and doing everything that we need to,” she said.

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