Now it can be seen.
(Trigger warning: If you’re a leftist, you might want to avert your eyes.)
Made public for the first time was a picture of a scale model of a Mount Rushmore sculpture with President Donald Trump joining Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln.
That’s right. Donald Trump on Mount Rushmore.
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem commissioned the 4-foot-long sculpture, giving it as a gift to Trump when he visited Mount Rushmore for a speech on July 3, 2020.
Noem’s office says private donors paid for the the sculpture. It cost $1,100, according to a filing with the Office of Government Ethics, the U.K’s Daily Mail reported.
It was a lighthearted gift. But, as usual, The New York Times took it as dead serious.
About a month after the presentation, the gift, coupled with Noem’s efforts to provide Trump with a Mount Rushmore fireworks show for Independence Day, were possible evidence Noem was angling to replace Vice-President Mike Pence on the 2020 Republican ticket, according to Times writers Jonathan Martin and Maggie Haberman.
You remember Maggie Haberman. As Times’ White House correspondent she was part of a team that won a Pulitzer Prize for tying Trump advisors to Russia. That Maggie Haberman. Yeah.
The seriousness of the legacy media about the whole Mount Rushmore thing allowed Trump to play a bit of a joke.
A 2018 article in the Sioux Falls Argus said that upon Noem and Trump’s first meeting in the Oval Office, Trump told her: “Do you know it’s my dream to have my face on Mount Rushmore?”
“I started laughing,” Noem responded. “He wasn’t laughing, so he was totally serious.”
Noem later mentioned it to someone and word got out.
Eventually, Trump talked about it at a rally in Ohio. “I’d ask whether or not you think I will someday be on Mount Rushmore, 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,’” reported the Argus.
“So I won’t say it, OK? I won’t say it.”
But, according to the Daily Mail, Trump has said that his accomplishments mean it would be a good idea to put his likeness on Mount Rushmore.
No wonder he makes their heads explode … and causes those who get Trump’s schtick to laugh.
Noem’s office commissioned the sculpture a month before Trump’s arrival at Mount Rushmore. Lee Leuning and Sherri Treeby of the Bad River Artworks of Aberdeen, South Dakota, did the work. They’re both Trump supporters, the Daily Mail said, although Leuning might consider Noem or Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in 2024.
The Daily Mail ran a photograph of the sculpture here.
The pair used a technique called “lost wax casting” using clay, hot wax, and molten bronze to join a likeness of Trump to the miniature of the historic monument. Besides the sculpture given to Trump, two copies went to anonymous donors to the project.
Despite CNN and the New York Times reporting last year that the Trump White House contacted Noem about putting Trump’s likeness on the actual mountain, there can be no more presidents up there, not even the sainted Barack Obama, as has been petitioned.
There’s no more room, Mount Rushmore Public Information Officer Maureen McGee-Ballinger said. She told the Argus that her office daily gets suggestions about presidents to add to the mountain.
Gutzon Borglum began the presidential carvings on Mount Rushmore in 1927; after his death, his son, Lincoln, finished it in 1949.