A White House aide went to the South Dakota governor’s office to learn about the process to add additional presidents to Mount Rushmore, it has been claimed.
The request was made last year, a Republican official told The New York Times.
The White House, when asked about the request, did not deny that it had occurred and instead replied that it was a federal, not a state monument.
Donald Trump first raised the prospect of having his face cut off at the historic site shortly after he took office in January 2017.
Kristi Noem, who was then a parliamentarian representing South Dakota, said the idea floated during the first meeting.
“He said,‘ Kristi, come here. Give me your hand, ”Noem recalled.
“I shook his hand and said,‘ Mr. President, you should come to South Dakota sometime. We have Mount Rushmore “.
And he goes, “Do you know it̵7;s my dream to have your face on Mount Rushmore?” ‘
Donald Trump, pictured at Mount Rushmore on July 4, has reflected on how to add to himself
The July 4 rally was a triumph for Governor Kristi Noem, who had long been pressuring him to visit her.
Noem said he thought he was joking.
“I started laughing,” he said. “He doesn’t laugh, so he was totally serious.”
Later that year, Trump raised it again, this time in public, at a rally in Youngstown, Ohio, in July.
“I would ask him whether or not you think I’ll ever be at Mount Rushmore, but here’s the problem: if I did it jokingly, totally jokingly, having fun, the fake news media would say,” he thinks he should ‘be on Mount Rushmore,’ he said.
“So I won’t say it, okay? I won’t say it.
Maureen McGee-Ballinger, head of public information at Mount Rushmore, told The Argus Leader that workers are being asked every day if any president can be added.
For years, people have suggested Franklin Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan, among others. A website has been created advocating for Obama.
McGee-Ballinger said it was impossible.
“There is no more carved space in the sculpture,” he said.
Trump watches as the jets make a fly to celebrate July 4 in South Dakota
Mount Rushmore spokeswoman Maureen McGee-Ballinger said there is no longer room to cut
“When you look at the sculpture, there seems to be a space to the left next to Washington or next to Lincoln.
“You can look at the rock beyond the sculpture (on the right), which is an optical illusion, or on the left, which is not cut.”
Mount Rushmore was started in 1927 and was never completed. The work ended with the death of sculptor Gutzon Borglum in 1941.
Noem, who in 2018 was elected South Dakota’s first female governor, has long been waiting for Trump to visit his state for the July 4 fireworks at the site.
When he did, this year he presented him with a four-foot replica of the site, which included his carved image alongside George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln.
Noem was rewarded for her efforts with a trip to Air Force One after the July 4 event.
The attention, however, sparked rumors that the 48-year-old had her eye on Mike Pence’s job as vice president.
Noem addressed the crowd at the July 4 rally, praising the president for his work.
Noem, 48, is a rising star of the Republican Party and is believed to be behind a cabinet role
Three weeks later, Noem flew to Washington DC to meet with Pence and, according to the document, reassured her that she was not interested in his job.
There is no suggestion that Trump seek to replace him.
Noem but is seen as a rising star of the Republican party.
The governor has installed a television studio in his state chapter, has become a regular on Fox News and has begun receiving advice from former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, who still has his ear of the president.
Next month, he will address a county Republican dinner in Iowa.
“It looks like there would be some interest on his part, no doubt it’s noticeable,” Jon Hansen, a Republican state representative in South Dakota, said about Noem’s positioning for the national office.
Lewandowski said Noem was a star who “has a huge future in Republican politics.”