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Trump says adding himself to Mt. Rushmore ‘sounds like a good idea’ after report that the White House inquired about process

President Donald J. Trump attends a Fourth of July celebration Friday, July 3, 2020, at Mount Rushmore National Memorial in Keystone, S.D. (Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks)
August 10, 2020

President Donald Trump shot down reports Sunday night claiming the White House inquired about adding him to Mount Rushmore, but added that it “sounded like a good idea.”

“This is Fake News by the failing @nytimes & bad ratings @CNN. Never suggested it although, based on all of the many things accomplished during the first 3 1/2 years, perhaps more than any other Presidency, sounds like a good idea to me!” Trump tweeted Sunday night.

His tweet came in response to New York Times and CNN reports that alleged the White House contacted South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem last year to inquire about the process of adding another president to the mountain.

Trump also tweeted a captionless photo of him standing before Mount Rushmore.

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During Trump’s July 4 fireworks event at Mount Rushmore last month, Noem reportedly presented Trump with a four-foot Mount Rushmore replica that included his face, a source told New York Times.

Noem previously said in 2018 that Trump expressed to her it is his dream to be included on the mountain.

“He said, ‘Kristi, come on over here. Shake my hand,'” Noem said, according to 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?'”

Noem said she thought Trump was joking and she started laughing, but he wasn’t.

“He was totally serious,” she added.

In July 2017, Trump had hinted at having his face on the mountain.

“I’d ask whether or not you think I will someday be on Mount Rushmore, but here’s the problem: If I did it joking, totally joking, having fun, the fake news media will say ‘he believes he should be on Mount Rushmore,'” he said. “So I won’t say it, OK? I won’t say it.”

The public has advocated for additional presidents to be included on the mountain over the years, but the feat is not considered possible due to the lack of “carvable space” on the mountain.

Maureen McGee-Ballinger, public information officer at Mount Rushmore, said “There is no more carvable space up on the sculpture. When you are looking on the sculpture, it appears there might be some space on the left next to Washington or right next to Lincoln. You are either looking at the rock that is beyond the sculpture (on the right), which is an optical illusion, or on the left, that is not carvable.”