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Donald Trump says 'it sounds like a good idea' to carve his face into Mount Rushmore
10 August 2020, 14:11
Donald Trump said it "sounds like a good idea" to carve his face into Mount Rushmore, but denied claims that he has already inquired about doing so.
The president took to Twitter on Monday to denounce the claims as "fake news".
It comes after a New York Times article alleged that an official from the Trump administration had contacted South Dakota governor Kristi Noem last year to discuss the possibility of adding Trump's face to the monument.
In his tweet, the president said: "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!"
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! https://t.co/EHrA9yUsAw— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 10, 2020
It has been reported that this is not the first time the president has suggested adding his face onto Mount Rushmore.
Ms Noem claimed that during a conversation in 2018, Mr Trump told her it "is his dream" to have his face on Mount Rushmore alongside George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln.
She said that their conversation went as follows: "Kristi, come on over here. Shake my hand."
"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?'"
Ms Noem said she thought at the time he was joking.
"I started laughing," she said. "He wasn't laughing, so he was totally serious."
During a presidential visit to South Dakota last year, Ms Noem also gave Mr Trump a four-foot replica of Mount Rushmore that included his face on.
Trump also suggested the idea back in July 2017 during an Ohio rally.
He later backtracked and said he was "only joking".
"I'd ask whether or not you think I will someday be on Mount Rushmore," he said.
"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'.
"So I won't say it, OK? I won't say it."
Mount Rushmore was completed in 1941, and is a huge sculpture carved into the granite face of the mountain.
It is situated in the Black Hills in Keystone, South Dakota.
It has been seen as a controversial monument, after the local Native American Cheyenne River Sioux tribe has called for it to be removed, claiming that the monument is on sacred ground that was promised to them in a 19th-century treaty.