The White House reportedly reached out to South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem in 2019 about the process adding President Trump to Mount Rushmore. According to a New York Times report (via CNN), Trump's "dream" is to have his face alongside George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt.
While this is the type of story to take with a grain of salt, the reported details are too good to ignore. After the request the year prior, Noem had a four-foot replica created for Trump with his face added to it as a gift during his Fourth of July celebration. Trump also brought up the monument in 2018 according to an interview with Noem from the time. The governor said that she thought Trump was joking at first and started laughing. Trump did not.
"He said, 'Kristi, come on over here. Shake my hand, and so 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 in the interview.
Trump also reportedly mentioned adding himself to the monument in 2017 at a rally in Youngstown, Ohio according to CNN. If it isn't a genuine request, it seems a bit odd to have it pop up for at least three to four years at this point.
Mount Rushmore has long been a divisive issue for the United States and Native American tribal leaders who consider the Black Hills sacred as the Six Grandfathers. It also has negative origins since the land was promised to the Lakota Sioux in the Treaty of 1868, lasting only as long as it took for the U.S. to find gold in the mountain.
As should be expected, many online called the news a "distraction" from the many other stories swirling around Trump and the impending election in November. But others are taking the news as seriously as any of the other stories coming out of the White House. Others have even said that it could be the straw that breaks the camel's back.
"I think if you kill 160,000 plus Americans they feel less inclined to put you on mount Rushmore," Daily Beast editor Molly Jong-Fast wrote on Twitter. Others joined in and added their own thoughts to the news. "It was very obvious that the *only* reason Trump did that stunt at Mount Rushmore this year is because he wants his image added to the collection!"
"If he pushed for it: President Trump would get 52 of 53 Republican votes in senate to fund putting him on Mount Rushmore. Failing to get votes in Democratic house, he would just steal money from military, which Roberts' Supreme Court already gave him carte blanche to do," another wrote highlighting the current events out of DC.
As it stands, there is no room for another president on Mount Rushmore and there could possibly be others ahead of Trump if there were an opportunity. But it shouldn't be a surprise that a man who places his name on buildings around the world would want his face on this piece of "Americana."