Gov. Kristi Noem says “I want the truth to come out” after viral stories about Kim Jong Un killing her dog, false claim

Washington — Governor of South Dakota Kristi Noem said Sunday that she is “not retracting anything” after facing backlash over stories about the killing of her young dog and a false claim about meeting Kim Jong Un, although she said the latter story will be edited in her book.

“I am so proud of this book and what it will bring to people,” Noem said on “Face the Nation” on Sunday. “I'm not withdrawing anything.”

The Republican governor, who was considered one of the leading candidates possible running mates for former President Donald Trump in his latest bid for the White House, was widely criticized after writing about it in her new book kill her dog decades ago, a story that went viral in recent days.

She writes in her book that a 14-month-old wire-haired pointer named Cricket exhibited aggressive behavior while she was training the dog for pheasant hunting. She said Sunday that she made the choice to protect her children from a “dangerous animal.”

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Gov. Kristi Noem of South Dakota on “Face the Nation,” May 5, 2024.

CBS News


“I would ask everyone in the country to put themselves in that situation,” she said. “As a mother, I have made a choice between protecting my children and protecting them from a dangerous animal that kills livestock and attacks people.”

But the anecdote has raised questions about her political future. Former Speaker of the House of Representatives Newt Gingrich told Politico said Noem's writing about killing her dog “ended the possibility of her being chosen as vice president.”

Noem defended the anecdote and the book more broadly, saying it is “filled with vulnerable, painful moments in my life.”

“I want the truth to come out and understand that these animals attacked my children, that we live on a farm and a ranch and that often times difficult decisions are made and this is to protect people,” Noem said .

She added that the reason the story is in the book is because “people need to understand who I am” and some of the “tough decisions” she has made. She said the story is “well known in South Dakota” and one her “political opponents have been trying to use against me for years.”

In the book, Noem writes that the first thing she would do if she got into the White House, which was different from President Biden, would be to make sure Mr. Biden's dog, Commander, was nowhere on the premises. Commander has since been moved to an undisclosed location after biting several Secret Service agents, but Noem writes that she would say, “Commander say hi to Cricket.”

“Well, No. 1, Joe Biden's dog attacked 24 Secret Service people,” Noem said. “So how many people are enough to be attacked and dangerously injured before you make a decision about a dog?”

When Face the Nation moderator Margaret Brennan asked if that meant Commander should be shot, Noem replied, “What should the president be accountable for.”

The South Dakota governor has also faced scrutiny over details in the book about mentioning a meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un during her time in Congress, that seemed to be a mistake. Noem said the anecdote should not have been in the book and was edited.

“This is an anecdote that I asked to be removed because I think it is appropriate at this time,” she said.

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