- Wednesday, May 8, 2024

A version of this story appeared in the On Background newsletter from The Washington Times. Click here to receive On Background delivered directly to your inbox each Friday.

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem got caught in a big lie the other day.

Instead of saying, “Hey, I got that wrong,” “Oops, my memory isn’t so good,” or even “Whoa, that scrub ghostwriter made up some stuff,” Ms. Noem proved herself ready for the D.C. swamp when she decided to pretend that her clearly false claim was not an enormous lie.

Ms. Noem sat down with “Face the Nation” host Margaret Brennan on Sunday to talk about her new book (the one where she says she shot a dog because it was “untrainable”). The veteran journalist got right to the point.

“You talk about meeting some world leaders and one specific one, quote, ’I remember when I met with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, I’m sure he underestimated me having no clue about my experience staring down little tyrants. I’ve been a children’s pastor after all.’ Did you meet Kim Jong Un?” Ms. Brennan asked.

That was a good question. Ms. Noem did say in her book that she “met” the North Korean dictator, but after the book excerpt emerged, it was quickly proved that she didn’t. So, you gotta walk that one back fast, right?

Wrong. “Well, you know,” Ms. Noem began. Let’s pause right here. The question was “Did you meet Kim Jong Un?” The answer is either yes or no. And if it’s no, it’s followed by a clear explanation of how that claim ended up in the book you just wrote.

“Well, you know, as soon as this was brought to my attention, I certainly made some changes and looked at this, this passage. And I’ve met with many, many world leaders, I’ve traveled around the world. As soon as it was brought to my attention, we went forward and have made some edits. So I’m glad that this book is being released in a couple of days, and that those edits will be in place, and that people will, will have the updated version,” Ms. Noem said.

Good Lord. What was that? “Edits will be in place”? Like “I never met Kim Jong Un”? Prolly not.

Luckily, Ms. Brennan didn’t get it either, so she said: “So you did not meet with Kim Jong Un? That’s what you’re saying?”

You’ll have to pay attention here, because Ms. Noem first says “no” and then spreads a load of manure like a manure farmer.

“No, I’ve met with many, many world leaders, many world leaders. I’ve traveled around the world, I think I’ve talked extensively in this book about my time serving in Congress, my time as governor, before governor, some of the travels that I’ve had. I’m not going to talk about my specific meetings with world leaders. I’m just not going to do that,” she said.

Excuse me? You were the one who made the claim about your “specific meetings with world leaders,” but one was proved false, and now we’re asking about it.

But Ms. Noem wasn’t done. Seriously. “This anecdote shouldn’t have been in the book, and as soon as it was brought to my attention, I made sure that that was adjusted. So the book is not released until Tuesday. And so we’re doing all that we can to make sure that those changes are made,” she said.

Thankfully, Ms. Brennan wasn’t done, either.

“I’m wondering, who is it that you confused Kim Jong Un with?” she asked.

“Well, I think you need to remember, Margaret, and everybody needs to remember that I’ve worked on [agriculture] policy and federal policy for over 30 years. My time in serving and making policies in this country has been extensive and covered decades,” Ms. Noem said.

Oh, now you’re not even trying. DID YOU MEET WITH KIM JONG UN OR NOT?!

Never mind. The Q&A didn’t get better. Eventually — after lying horribly but never admitting that she was flat-out lying — Ms. Noem said: “This is an anecdote that I asked to have removed because I think it’s appropriate at this point in time, but I’m not going to talk to you about those personal meetings that I’ve had with world leaders. I’m just not going to have that conversation because I think it’s important.”

Yup. It’s important for you not to have “that conversation,” the one about the baldfaced lie you told about meeting Kim Jong Un.

While Ms. Noem’s absurdly bad effort to spin a bad story — plus the fact that she’s clearly a liar — would be very bad for her should she try to get, well, any job, it makes her uniquely qualified for a long future in politics.

Look for the South Dakota governor to move to Capitol Hill soon. And don’t worry — she’s got no problem killing any dog that may get in her way.

• Joseph Curl covered the White House and politics for a decade for The Washington Times. He can be reached at josephcurl@gmail.com and on X @josephcurl.

Copyright © 2024 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide