Nikki Haley was placed third in the Iowa caucuses on Monday night, with former president Donald Trump declared winner. Hours after that an article started doing the rounds on social media claiming that a campaign staffer for 2024 presidential candidate Nikki Haley was arrested by the U.S. Army's Criminal Investigation Division for attempting to bribe voters.
No, the claim is completely false as no such incident happened. The website that published this article is known for posting fictitious stories and narratives involving both political and entertainment personalities. The accusation would have been serious had it been true and could have threatened to end Haley's political career but that didn't happen.
The claim originated from an article titled "White Hats Arrest Campaign Staffer for Nikki Haley in Iowa," and was published on Monday, January 15, 2024, by Real Raw News. The article began with:
"United States Army Criminal Investigation Division (CID) agents on Sunday night arrested a member of Nikki Haley's campaign staff for offering voters $1000 prepaid debit cards in exchange for casting a ballot for her boss, a source at the CID's headquarters told Real Raw News."
The Real Raw News article did not disclose the identity of the staffer allegedly arrested.
The claim is completely false. A search using Google News to find any credible mentions of a Haley staffer being arrested in Iowa did not yield any credible results that could substantiate the claim made in the Real Raw News article.
The explicit mission of the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Division (CID) emphasizes that arresting individuals for offenses unrelated to the Army is not a primary focus. On the division's "Our Mission" page, within the "What We Do" section (archived here), the information begins with:
Almost a Satire
Had the allegations been true, it could have ended up putting Haley's career in major trouble. Also, there was no supporting evidence from other news sources to validate the authenticity of the story, particularly given that a significant accusation like this would likely garner national attention.
The context also includes information about the Iowa Republican caucuses on January 15, where former President Donald Trump secured 51% of the vote. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis finished in a distant second with 21.2%, and Haley won 19.1% of the vote.
Real Raw News has a well-documented history of publishing false claims through fabricated news stories, often involving false stories about the convictions and executions of various public figures at Naval Station Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.
Some examples include the incorrect reporting of the hanging of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the supposed execution of former White House Chief of Staff John Podesta, and the baseless claim that the military convicted former Attorney General William Barr on charges of treason.
The website includes a disclaimer explicitly stating that the contents of the stories should be considered entertainment, and the site does not endorse or verify their accuracy.