Election 2024: Nikki Haley applies for Secret Service protection

Nikki Haley

AIKEN, S.C. — Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley has applied for Secret Service protection due to increased threats as she campaigns as the last major GOP opponent of former Donald Trump for the GOP nomination.

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Haley confirmed the application for protection during an interview on Monday with The Wall Street Journal.

“We’ve had multiple issues,” Haley said during a campaign stop in Aiken, South Carolina. “It’s not going to stop me from doing what I need to do.”

Representatives for Haley’s campaign did not reveal when the request was made, according to CNN.

Trump already has Secret Service protection because he is a former president, The State newspaper of Columbia reported. Independent candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has also applied for Secret Service protection but has been denied, according to the newspaper.

Last week, Haley told reporters that threats are a reality for candidates running for the nation’s highest office, adding that the former South Carolina governor’s campaign was beefing up its security, CBS News reported.

“Part of running for public life is that you’re going to deal with the threats that are there,” Haley said. “That’s not going to deter me. Does it mean we have to put a few more bodies around this? Yes, that’s fine. But 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 it just as part of the game.”

During a campaign stop in Columbia last week, a woman was tackled by a member of Haley’s private security group when she rushed the stage, The State reported. Campaign events featuring the former United Nations ambassador have also included protesters who are upset about Haley’s support for Ukraine and Israel, according to The Wall Street Journal.

According to the Secret Service website, the secretary of Homeland Security, after consultation with a congressional committee, has the discretion to award protection, The State reported. One benchmark is whether a candidate is polling at 15% or more for 30 consecutive days.

Haley has an 18.8% polling average in national polls, according to Real Clear Politics.

Haley said her South Carolina residence was the target of at least one “swatting” incident, when a person falsely reports a crime in progress to get law enforcement to a particular location, The Wall Street Journal reported.

She told NBC’s “Meet the Press” that she was not at home when the incident occurred, but her parents and a caregiver were at the residence, according to the newspaper.