In a stunning revelation, the New York Times reported that Trump White House aides contacted South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem in 2019 about the necessary process of adding another president to Mount Rushmore.
Noem has spoken about Trump’s “dream” to have his face on Mount Rushmore before. In a 2018 interview with Noem, she and Trump talked about the Coolidge-era sculpture and she said she initially thought Trump was joking.
Noem said, “I started laughing. He wasn’t laughing, so he was totally serious.” She continued, “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?’”
At a 2017 campaign rally in Youngstown, Ohio, Trump also toyed with the idea of adding himself alongside 60-foot-tall faces of Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt.
Although activists and native tribal leaders have spoken out against the monument for its history and purpose, Trump used his July 4th speech to defend it, saying it will “stand forever as an eternal tribute to our forefathers, and to our freedom.”
Trump warned, “As we meet here tonight there is a growing danger that threatens every blessing our ancestors fought so hard for.”
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