Nikki Haley was targeted by a second “swatting” attempt on New Year’s Day – just two days after authorities responded to a similar call regarding Haley, according to Reuters.
This time, the call was made by someone who said Haley’s daughter had been shot and was lying in a pool of blood. The caller, who told police her name was Rose, also said she was on the phone with Haley, who was threatening to shoot herself.
A Charleston county sheriff’s deputy responded to the scene and it was soon discovered the call was a hoax.
After the 2024 Republican presidential candidate and former governor of South Carolina confirmed, on NBC’s Meet the Press on Monday, that she had been the victim of a swatting hoax, new information from an incident report obtained by Reuters has revealed she was actually swatted on two separate occasions.
Police first responded to a swatting call – or a prank call intentionally made to lure resources such as a Swat team to a location to respond to a false threat of danger – at Haley’s home in Kiawah Island, South Carolina, on 30 December. Haley was not present at the time of the swatting, but her parents were home with a caregiver.
Haley’s son was also away from the home, as was her husband, Michael, who is serving overseas.
Haley called the ordeal an “awful situation”.
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“It put the law enforcement officers in danger, it put my family in danger,” Haley said. “It was not a safe situation.”
“That’s what happens when you run for president,” Haley said. “What I don’t want is for my kids to live like this.”
According to an email including comments from Kiawah Island public safety, obtained by Reuters, authorities were called to Haley’s house after a man called 911 and “claimed to have shot his girlfriend and threatened to harm himself while at the residence of Nikki Haley”.
The 1 January incident marks the second swatting attempt against Haley.
Haley is now one of several high profile politicians targeted by swatting calls.
In December, the home of the Florida senator Rick Scott was also swatted. The homes of two other members of congress, the New York congressman Brandon Williams and Georgia congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene, were also swatted. Greene said on X that she had been a victim of a swatting call several times, including once on Christmas Day.
False cries of danger were also conducted on a larger scale earlier this month, when at least nine state capitol buildings across the US were under evacuation orders due to bomb threats that turned out to be fake.
A judge in Donald Trump’s federal election subversion case was also targeted. Police responded to a report of a shooting at a Washington DC home revealed to belong to the US district judge Tanya Chutkan. Authorities quickly determined there was no threat of a shooting.
The White House is not immune to these dangerous prank calls. On 15 January, multiple Washington DC emergency crews rushed to the president’s home following a call received at 7.03am.
Joe Biden was not in the building at the time.
The US attorney general, Merrick Garland,described a “deeply disturbing spike” in threats against public officials.
“These threats of violence are unacceptable,” Garland said. “They threaten the fabric of our democracy.”