Report: Some in WH Thought SD Gov. Kristi Noem Should Replace Pence as Trump VP

Over the July 4th weekend, Donald Trump made a bombastic speech standing in front of Mt. Rushmore in South Dakota. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, there were no social distancing guidelines or mask requirements for the rally’s attendees.

Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

By Trump’s side during the event was South Dakota governor Krisiti Noem who assumed office in January of 2019. According to the New York Times, Noem took advantage of her time with Trump and rolled out the red carpet. After rumors in the adminstration spread that the governor was lobbying to take Mike Pence’s VP role, she met with Pence to smooth things over.

The New York Times reports, “In private, the efforts to charm Mr. Trump were more pointed, according to a person familiar with the episode: Ms. Noem greeted him with a four-foot replica of Mount Rushmore that included a fifth presidential likeness: his.”

Jonathan Martin and Maggie Haberman write:

“Word had circulated through the Trump administration that she was ingratiating herself with the president, fueling suspicions that there might have been a discussion about her serving as his running mate in November. Ms. Noem assured Mr. Pence that she wanted to help the ticket however she could, according to an official present.”

While Noem denied interest, some in the White House think there was something behind the idea. The report continues, “One senior Trump adviser has recently lamented to others that Mr. Trump could have boosted his re-election campaign had he replaced Mr. Pence with a woman, according to people familiar with the conversations.”

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