Washington (CNN) White House aides reached out to South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem last year about the process of adding additional presidents to Mount Rushmore, the New York Times reported.
According to a person familiar who spoke with the Times, Noem then greeted Trump when he arrived in the state for his July Fourth celebrations at the monument with a four-foot replica of Mount Rushmore that included his face.
Noem has noted before Trump’s “dream” to have his face on Mount Rushmore, the Coolidge-era sculpture that features the 60-foot-tall faces of Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt.
According to a 2018 interview with Noem, the two struck up a conversation about the sculpture in the Oval Office during their first meeting, where she initially thought he was joking. “I started laughing,” she said. “He wasn’t laughing, so he was totally serious.”