Last year, months before President Trump’s July 4th fireworks celebration at Mount Rushmore, a White House aide reportedly contacted South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem’s office to inquire about the steps that need to be taken to add more presidents to the national memorial. Noem, who previously said Trump confided in her that it was his “dream” to appear among the former presidents on the monument, apparently decided to encourage his fantasy when she sought to charm him as he arrived in Black Hills for the holiday celebration last month: She even presented him with a four-foot replica of Mount Rushmore with his face on it, according to The New York Times. The gesture, and Noem’s praise of Trump during the visit, reportedly sparked suspicions within the administration that she was after Vice President Mike Pence’s job, leading her to pay a visit to the White House to reassure Pence personally that she was not out to replace him.
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