NYT: WH Reached Out To South Dakota Governor About Adding Trump To Mt. Rushmore
The New York Times reported that a White House aide reached out to South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem's (R) office last year about the process for adding presidents to Mount Rushmore, citing a Republican official familiar with the conversation.
- Noem said in a 2018 interview that President Trump told her during an Oval Office meeting it was his “dream” to have his image carved into the monument, alongside Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt.
- The governor said of the conversation: "He said, 'Kristi, come on over here. Shake my hand, and so I shook his hand, and I said, 'Mr. President, you should come to South Dakota sometime. We have Mount Rushmore.' And he goes, 'Do you know it's my dream to have my face on Mount Rushmore?'"
- Noem initially thought Trump to be joking, recounting during the interview: "I started laughing. He wasn't laughing, so he was totally serious."
- Ahead of the president’s July Fourth celebration at the monument this year, the governor reportedly greeted Trump “with a four-foot replica of Mount Rushmore that included a fifth presidential likeness: his.”
- A White House official noted to The Times that Mount Rushmore is not a state but a federal monument.
The report came amid speculation Noem may be angling to replace Vice President Mike Pence on the November ticket, though several individuals indicated to The Times that Trump has no intentions of choosing a new running mate.