The White House Asked South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem About Adding Donald Trump to Mount Rushmore
The White House asked South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem (R) in 2019 if President Donald Trump’s face could be added to Mount Rushmore because it has always been a “dream” of his, an insider familiar with the conversation told the New York Times.
Though Trump first publicly floated the idea at a campaign rally in Ohio in 2017, Trump personally asked the governor during their first face-to-face meeting with Noem in the Oval Office not long after his inauguration.
In 2018, Noem recalled the bizarre conversation – one that could only originate from a Trump-sized ego.
“‘Kristi, come on over here. Shake my hand,'” the governor said in an interview with the Argus Leader. “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?’ I started laughing. He wasn’t laughing, so he was totally serious.”
Because it is a federal monument, the authority to carve another face into the mountain lies within the executive branch. But the National Park Service has repeatedly rejected Trump’s request for two reasons.
“First, the rock that surrounds the sculpted faces is not suitable for additional carving. When Gutzon Borglum, the sculptor of Mount Rushmore died in 1941, his son Lincoln Borglum closed down the project and stated that no more carvable rock existed,” Mount Rushmore National Memorial Chief of Interpretation and Education Maureen McGee-Ballinger said.
“Second,” McGee-Ballinger continued, “Mount Rushmore was sculpted by Gutzon Borglum to represent the first 150 years of the history of the United States — the birth, growth, and preservation of our country. He chose the four presidents (Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt, Lincoln) to represent the principles of our present form of government not to represent the individuals themselves.”
Instead, Noem presented Trump with a mini-version of the stone edifice with his likeness, right alongside previous presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt.
Amazon currently has a Trump-Rushmore clock for sale, commemorating the president’s pointless failure.
Image Source: Amazon