Congressional panel recommends Nikki Haley get Secret Service protection

The request heads to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

February 16, 2024, 10:37 AM

Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley is one step closer to getting the Secret Service protection she requested with the help of a recommendation from a congressional advisory panel.

Earlier this week, an advisory panel made up of Speaker of the House Mike Johnson, House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, and the Senate Sergeant at Arms recommended that Haley get Secret Service detail, according to a source familiar with the deliberations.

Haley's request came earlier this month when the former U.N. ambassador and the only remaining major challenger to former President Donald Trump in the 2024 Republican primary race was the target of two "swatting" attempts at her home in South Carolina, according to records obtained by ABC News.

Nikki Haley speaks during a campaign rally in Dallas, TX, Feb. 15, 2024.
Brandon Bell/Getty Images

In both cases, police were falsely directed to her residence on suspicion of a crime. In one of the incidents, she has said, her parents were home with a caretaker when officers arrived with "guns drawn."

With the congressional panel's recommendation, the request now heads to Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas. The secretary is traveling in Germany and slated to speak at the Munich Security Conference, so it's not yet clear on when a decision on her protection would happen.

If Mayorkas approves, she would get protection immediately.

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas arrives to a news conference about security for NFL's Super Bowl 58 in Las Vegas, Feb. 7, 2024.
Alex Brandon/AP

The Secret Service is legally required to protect presidential and vice presidential candidates and their families 120 days out from a general election. However, the Department of Homeland Security acknowledged in its 2024 budget overview that recent requests for candidate protection were coming in earlier than in the past.

Presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has requested -- and been denied -- Secret Service protection.

The DHS did not have a comment on Haley's request and the panel's recommendation.