President TrumpDonald John Trump DeWine tests negative for coronavirus a second time Several GOP lawmakers express concern over Trump’s executive orders Beirut aftermath is a test for US aid to frustrating ally MORE Sunday night he denied reports that the White House had contacted the governor of South Dakota. Kristi Noem (R) on adding his face to Mount Rushmore.
The New York Times reported on Sunday that a White House aide had contacted Noem’s office in 2019 to inquire about the process for adding new presidents to Mount Rushmore. The report was aggregated by other media outlets, including CNN.
Trump, retweeting the CNN headline, called the reports “fake news,” though he added that “it sounds like a good idea!”
“This is fake news from bankruptcy @New York Times and negative ratings @CNN. I have never suggested it although, based on all the many things achieved during the first 3 and a half years, perhaps more than any other Presidency, it seems like a good idea to me! “, He tweeted.
This is fake news from bankruptcy @New York Times and negative ratings @CNN. I have never suggested it, although based on all the many things achieved during the first 3 and a half years, perhaps more than any other Presidency, it seems like a good idea! https://t.co/EHrA9yUsAw
– Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 10, 2020
Noem, then a congressman, said in 2018 that Trump had told her he aspired to have her image on the monument and made it clear that he was “totally serious,” according to the Argus leader.
“He said, ‘Kristi, come here. Shake my hand,'” Noem said at the time. “I shook his hand and said,” Mr. President, you should come to South Dakota sooner or later. We have Mount Rushmore. “And he:” Do you know it’s my dream to have my face on Mount Rushmore? “
The same year, at a gathering in Youngstown, Ohio, Trump said, “I would ask you whether or not you think I will be on Mount Rushmore someday, but here’s the problem: if I was joking, totally joking, having fun, the fake news media. they’ll say “you think it should be on Mount Rushmore,” so I’m not going to say, okay? I’m not going to say. “
Noem, recalling the conversation, presented Trump with a four-foot replica of the monument with his face on it when he arrived in the state for a July 4 event last month, the Times reported.
A few weeks later, Noem met with Vice President Pence at the White House to tell the Vice President that he would do anything in his power to help the Trump-Pence ticket in November, with the unspoken implication that he wasn’t trying to replace it on the ticket, according to the Times.
Noem has been seen as a rising star among Republicans, most notably since the 4th of July event. A White House official told the Times that the replacement of Pence was not discussed and added that Mount Rushmore is a federal monument and therefore is not under Noem’s jurisdiction.
An official close to Pence said his team also considered Noem could be useful in helping Pence prepare for his debate with the former vice president. Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden Says Trump’s Executive Order Is “ A Reckless War On Social Security ” Trump Has Had A Hostile Exchange With Major GOP Donor Adelson: Blumenthal Report Calls For Declassification Of Materials That Detail Russia’s Threat To Elections US OTHER names like his running mate, according to the Times.
The Hill contacted Noem’s office for comment.