Fact Check: NO Evidence That 'White Hats' Arrested Campaign Staffer For Nikki Haley in Iowa

Fact Check

  • by: Lead Stories Staff

STORY UPDATED: check for updates below.

Fact Check: NO Evidence That 'White Hats' Arrested Campaign Staffer For Nikki Haley in Iowa No Arrest

Did the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Division arrest a staffer of 2024 presidential candidate Nikki Haley in Iowa in January 2024? No, that's not true: There is no evidence that a Haley staffer was arrested, purportedly for handing out prepaid gift cards in exchange for votes for Haley in the Iowa caucus. The website where this claim appeared is known for posting fabricated stories involving political and entertainment figures.

The claim originated in an article (archived here) titled "White Hats Arrest Campaign Staffer for Nikki Haley in Iowa," published on January 15, 2024, by Real Raw News. The article opened:

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.

This is how the article looked on Real Raw News at the time of writing:

nikki haley staffer in iowa arrested RRN article.png

(Source: Real Raw News screenshot taken on Tue Jan 16 16:05:54 2024 UTC)

No evidence for the claim

The Real Raw News story did not identify the person supposedly arrested.

Lead Stories used Google News to search for any mention of a Haley staffer being arrested in Iowa (archived here). We did not find any credible results that corroborated the claim made in the Real Raw News article.

The stated mission of the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Division (CID) makes it clear that arresting individuals for crimes unrelated to the Army would not be a priority. On the division's "Our Mission" page under the "What We Do" section (archived here), the information opens:

CID investigates and provides intelligence while working to proactively prevent crimes which impact the operational readiness of the Army, by investigating felony crimes of serious, sensitive, or special interest matters to support commanders and preserve the Army's resources in peacetime, combat, and contingency operations.

Lead Stories reached out to the CID for comment on the claim. In an email sent on January 17, 2024, the CID responded:

CID has no involvement

Real Raw News

Real Raw News has a long history of publishing false claims in mock news stories, many of them about convictions and executions of various public figures at Naval Station Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. For example, the site reported former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was hanged (she wasn't); former White House Chief of Staff John Podesta was executed (he wasn't); and "the military" convicted former Attorney General William Barr on charges of treason (it didn't).

The website for Real Raw News includes a disclaimer that declares the site does not stand by the contents of the stories, calling them entertainment. Specifically, it says:

Information on this website is for informational and educational and entertainment purposes. ... We have included this disclaimer for our protection, on the advice on legal counsel.

Real Raw snip.jpg

(Source: RealRawNews.com screenshot taken Tue Aug 3 16:39:48 UTC 2021)

Lead Stories has covered claims published by Real Raw News in the past. Previous Lead Stories debunks of Real Raw News items are collected here.


  • 2024-01-18T19:43:45Z 2024-01-18T19:43:45Z
    Added response from CID

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  Lead Stories Staff

Lead Stories is a fact checking website that is always looking for the latest false, deceptive or inaccurate stories (or media) making the rounds on the internet.

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