Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley says she has requested protection from the US Secret Service due to ongoing threats of violence against her.
Haley told the Wall Street Journal on Monday afternoon that she had formally requested assistance from the organization that protects senior US politicians and their families.
It follows at least two “swatting” attempts against the former South Carolina Governor. In these incidents, police were called to Haley’s home with false reports of violence.
“We’ve had a lot of problems,” Haley told the Wall Street Journal after a campaign event in South Carolina.
It won’t stop me from doing what I have to do.
Swatting is when a caller reports to the police claiming that a violent crime has been committed at a residence that is not their own. The police (sometimes SWAT units, hence the phrase) then rush to the house to respond to the call and enter, often with their guns drawn.
According to Reuters, the incidents have increased rapidly over the past two months, targeting both allies and opponents of former President Donald Trump as his re-election campaign continues in earnest.
Last month, a California teenager was arrested for allegedly running a swatting-for-hire service that prosecutors say enabled “hundreds of swatting and bomb threat incidents” across the US.
Haley, who served as US Ambassador to the United Nations under Donald Trump, remains optimistic in the face of events.
At a press conference last week, he told reporters that while it was clear that he needed to “put a few more bodyguards” around him and his family, it was an “obvious fact” of modern political campaigning that politicians face threats.
At the end of the day we will go out and touch every hand, we will answer every question, we will make sure that we were there and we did everything we were supposed to do.”