The Times reported on Saturday that in 2019, a White House aide asked South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem’s office about how a president could get added to the famed mountain sculpture. CNN later picked up the Times’ report, adding a reference to a 2018 Oval Office meeting where, Noem said, Trump asked her about it directly.
“This is Fake News by the failing @nytimes & bad ratings @CNN,” Trump tweeted Sunday evening. “Never suggested it although, based on all of the many things accomplished during the first 3 1/2 years, perhaps more than any other Presidency, sounds like a good idea to me!”
Noem claimed, according to the Sioux Falls Argus Leader, that she had encouraged Trump to visit South Dakota, mentioning Mount Rushmore, to which Trump replied that it was his “dream” to have his face on there.
“I started laughing,” said Noem, who was running for governor at the time. “He wasn’t laughing, so he was totally serious.”
Trump appeared at Mount Rushmore on July 3 of this year as part of his Fourth of July weekend festivities celebrating American independence. Standing before the mountain, bearing the images of Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt, he delivered a speech condemning the far-left and defending the nation’s founding fathers as some protesters following George Floyd’s death sought to tear down structures honoring them.
“This monument will never be desecrated,” Trump said about Mount Rushmore in his speech. “These heroes will never be defaced. Their legacy will never, ever be destroyed. Their achievements will never be forgotten. And Mount Rushmore will stand forever as an eternal tribute to our forefathers and to our freedom.”
Fox News’ Gregg Re contributed to this report.