“He said, ‘Kristi, come on over here. Shake my hand,’” Noem recounted to South Dakota’s 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,” she said. “He wasn’t laughing, so he was totally serious.”
Last year, a White House aide contacted the office of South Dakota’s governor, Republican Kristi Noem, to inquire about the process for adding more faces, according to The New York Times. The Times cited a Republican official familiar with the conversation.
Trump’s interest in Mount Rushmore, and his desire to be etched in among the four existing presidents, is no surprise to Noem, who says he brought it up during their first meeting in the oval office.
When Trump visited the monument in early July for an Independence Day speech, she greeted him with a four-foot model of Mount Rushmore with his face carved into it, the Times reported, citing a source familiar with the exchange.
The original article published in The New York Times goes into greater details about Kristi Noem’s political ambitions.