SIOUX FALLS—The “Mount Trumpmore” statue that South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem gave to then-President Donald Trump—grafting him onto the iconic monument—was not mothballed.
The bronze—which has not been seen since it was presented—made a surprise appearance in a photo Trump released Tuesday showing him meeting Kyle Rittenhouse at Mar-a-Lago.
The sculpture, created by South Dakota artists Lee Leuning and Sherri Treeby, can be seen below a table at the Trump resort in Palm Beach, Florida
“Cool,” Leuning told The Daily Beast when the photo was shared with him. “That’s our piece. Definitely. That’s pretty cool.” He said it was good to see the statute on display because often “stuff ends up in a closet.”
Noem presented “Mount Trumpmore” to Trump on July 3, 2020, before he spoke at Mount Rushmore as part of a political rally and fireworks display. It was paid for by anonymous donors.
The gift was reported after the event, but it was not seen until The Daily Beast published photos of it earlier this year in a story that revealed who made it.
The photo of the sculpture stems from Trump’s meeting on Tuesday with Rittenhouse days after he was acquitted of criminal charges from a fatal Aug. 25 shooting during protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
The former president said the 18-year-old, who has become a darling of the Republican Party, was a “fan” of his.
“Really a nice young man. What he went through... that was prosecutorial misconduct,” Trump said. “He should not have had to suffer through a trial for that.”
Leuning and Treeby also are fans of Trump and rushed to make the Rushmore mashup so Noem could present it for the July 4th event.