Trump visits South Dakota, picking up an endorsement from Gov. Kristi Noem

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Kristi Noem, South Dakota Governor welcomes Donald Trump, Republican Presidential candidate for 2024, to the stage at a rally held in Rapid City, South Dakota.

ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images


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South Dakota governor, Kristi Noem, welcomes Donald Trump, the Republican presidential candidate for 2024, to the stage at a rally held in Rapid City, South Dakota.

ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images

Just a few miles away from Mount Rushmore in South Dakota, Gov. Kristi Noem has endorsed Donald Trump for president. Noem, who has been a close ally of the Republican front-runner for the presidency over the years, praised former President Bush’s tenure in the White House. “He is an important man.” Noem, who spoke at a Rapid City, South Dakota rally on Friday, said, “He is the leader and fighter that our country needs.”

He has my complete and total endorsement as President of the United States of America. I will do all that I can to help him to win and save this great nation. “

Trump said that it meant a lot to him when he thanked Noem at a fundraising event for the Republican Party of California. He has a long history with the state, which many presidential candidates overlook when they are campaigning. He has visited the sparsely-populated state on three occasions in the past five years. She refused to enforce guidelines for social distancing or mandate shutdowns in order to curb the spread of the virus. She invited Trump to a Fourth of Independence fireworks display near Mount Rushmore in 2020 when he was running for reelection. He too disregarded social distancing guidelines and delivered a speech warning of “new far-left extremism.” A potential running mate audition.

The endorsement changes speculations about Noem’s political future. Formerly, the rising Republican governor was considered a candidate for the GOP’s presidential nomination in 2024. The event raises the possibility that Noem may be in the running to become the former president’s running partner. Mike Pence, his former vice president, is now challenging Trump to win the Republican presidential nomination.

Onstage, former President Donald Trump and South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem hug. Kristi Noem hugs during a Rapid City rally.

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A sign reading “Trump Noem”, with former President Donald Trump and South Dakota Governor. Kristi Noem hugs during a rally held in Rapid City, South Dakota.

ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images

As Noem, Trump and the other performers appeared together on Friday night’s stage, a sign reading “Trump Noem 2020” appeared briefly on the big screen of this arena. Some people seated on stage also held signs in support of the two. It was Trump’s very first public appearance after he pleaded not guilty to charges stemming his failed attempt to reverse his Georgia 2020 election loss. He criticized the indictments and said they were being used as a political weapon.

In separate cases, Trump is charged with conspiracy to overturn the 2020 election, mishandling of classified documents and falsifying business records.

States attorneys in two states, New York and Georgia, have issued charges against Trump. Jack Smith, a special prosecutor at the Justice Department, has also filed additional charges. He has also stressed that defendants must be presumed innocent unless proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt.