South Dakota Gov. Kristi NoemKristi Lynn NoemSouth Dakota governor criticizes removal of statues as effort to ‘discredit’ nation’s principles Protesters block highway as Trump makes his way to Mount Rushmore Infectious disease expert: Trump Mount Rushmore event is ‘beyond irresponsible’ and ‘the behavior of a cult leader’ MORE (R) flew with President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump second-term plans remain a mystery to GOP Trump to hold outdoor rally in New Hampshire on Saturday Eighty-eight years of debt pieties MORE on Air Force One on Friday after having close interactions with Kimberly GuilfoyleKimberly Ann GuilfoyleTrump to hold outdoor rally in New Hampshire on Saturday Gianforte halts in-person campaigning after wife, running mate attend event with Guilfoyle Kimberly Guilfoyle tests positive for coronavirus MORE, a senior adviser for the president’s campaign and the girlfriend of Donald Trump Jr.Don John TrumpGianforte halts in-person campaigning after wife, running mate attend event with Guilfoyle Trump Jr. knocks CNN’s Chris Cuomo over interview with father: ‘I’m not pretending to be a journalist’ Trump Jr. to interview president for reelection campaign’s online show ‘Triggered’ MORE who has tested positive for COVID-19, The Associated Press reported on Monday.
According to the news agency, the governor interacted with Guilfoyle, who tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday, during a campaign fundraiser in South Dakota on Thursday. The two had also reportedly been seen hugging at one point during Guilfoyle’s visit to the state last week.
Noem’s office told to The Hill on Monday that the governor tested negative for COVID-19 on Friday after interacting with Guilfoyle at the fundraiser on Thursday. Communications director Ian Fury also confirmed on Twitter that Noem had “conferred with the White House doctor immediately before boarding Air Force One, and he confirmed it was safe for her to travel with” the president.
— Ian Fury (@IanTFury) July 6, 2020
While on the plane to Washington, D.C., with Trump on Friday, Noem did not wear a mask, a spokeswoman for her office, Maggie Seidel, told the AP. Seidel was also reportedly asked about potential risks to the president from Noem’s presence on the plane on Friday.
“I don’t understand why Gov. Noem now needs to manage the president’s medical care,” Seidel reportedly said in response.
When pressed about Noem’s Air Force One flight during a briefing earlier on Monday, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said, “Yes, the president is tested constantly, has tested negative, and those around him are tested as well.”
Pressed on why Noem was allowed to fly with Trump following her interactions with Guilfoyle, McEnany referred such questions to the U.S. Secret Service, saying: “They take the president’s health very seriously. They would never put him in a situation that would put him in harm’s way.”
Morgan Chalfant contributed.