Nikki Haley Was Target of ‘Swatting’ Incident in December, Authorities Say

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A bogus account of a shooting at a South Carolina home owned by Nikki Haley sent the authorities scrambling in late December, but the Republican presidential candidate and a former governor of the state, was not there at the time, Reuters reported on Saturday.

The news service published details about the Dec. 30 “swatting” incident at Ms. Haley’s home on Kiawah Island, S.C., one intended to draw a heavily armed law enforcement response. Reuters obtained the information as part of a public records request, which included an email from Craig Harris, the town’s public safety director, discussing the incident with local officials.

The email said that an unknown person had called 911 and “claimed to have shot his girlfriend and threatened to harm himself while at the residence of Nikki Haley.” The case remains under investigation, according to the email, which did not discuss a motive for the call.

The details of the incident took nearly a month to emerge, a stark contrast to a series of high-profile “swatting” attempts that targeted politicians and government buildings in late December and early January.

The Haley campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Saturday. When reached by Reuters, the campaign declined to address the report.

Ms. Haley, who served as ambassador to the United Nations in former President Donald J. Trump’s administration, is the last serious candidate battling him for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination. She lost to Mr. Trump in the New Hampshire primary on Tuesday by 11 percentage points, and they have increasingly clashed over her decision to stay in the race.

A copy of the public safety director’s email was not immediately made available by officials in Kiawah Island, an affluent gated enclave south of Charleston, S.C., known for its beaches and golf courses. In 2019, The Post and Courier reported that Ms. Haley had bought a $2.4 million home on the island.

Mr. Harris, the public safety director, did not respond to a request for information on Saturday.

The day before Ms. Haley was targeted, a man called 911 to say that he had broken into the home of Shenna Bellows, Maine’s secretary of state and a Democrat. As the state’s top election official, she had just disqualified Mr. Trump from Maine’s primary ballot because of his actions during the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol.

No one was at her home when officers arrived, according to Maine State Police.

Less than a week later, state capitols in Connecticut, Georgia, Hawaii, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi and Montana were evacuated or placed on lockdown after receiving bomb threats that the authorities later described as false and nonspecific.

The episodes added to a climate of intimidation and harassment of public officials, including those overseeing ballot access and voting. Since 2020, election officials have confronted rising threats aggravated by rampant conspiracy theories about election fraud.

Other prominent Republicans were also swatted around the same time, including Representative Majorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Senator Rick Scott of Florida.

Ms. Greene, a right-wing provocateur and Trump ally, was at home on Christmas morning when a man in New York called a Georgia suicide hotline and claimed that he had just shot his girlfriend at Ms. Greene’s residence and was about to kill himself, The Associated Press reported.

Two days later, on Dec. 27, it was Mr. Scott’s turn.



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