In 2019, Trump White House aides reached out to South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem and asked about the process of adding additional presidents to Mount Rushmore, a Republican official familiar with the conversation told the New York Times.
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.
Gov. Noem has noted before Trump’s “dream” to have his face on Mount Rushmore.
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.”
“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?'”
Trump also toyed with the idea of adding himself to Mount Rushmore in 2017 at a campaign rally in Youngstown, Ohio.
Adding to the already odd ask is the fact that the federal government is in charge of such matters, not the state, and the National Park Service has addressed the subject several times with a hard no, citing instability to the structure making it impossible to make additions.