Trump privately tells donors Kristi Noem ‘is somebody that I love’ after she bragged about killing her dog

  • Donald Trump praised many potential running mates, including South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem.
  • The former president’s comments come as Noem faces backlash over killing her dog.
  • Noem has argued that killing Cricket shows she make hard choices.

Former President Donald Trump isn’t completely ready to abandon South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem amid the uproar over her disclosure that she killed her 14-month-old dog named Cricket decades ago.

Trump effusively praised Noem and other potential vice presidential picks during a closely watched Mar-a-Lago fundraiser over the weekend, according to audio of the private event obtained by Axios.

“Somebody that I love,” Trump said of Noem. “She’s been with me, a supporter of mine and I’ve been a supporter of hers for a long time.”

Noem had long been viewed as a potential Trump running mate before her disclosure in a forthcoming autobiography about her decision decades ago to kill her family’s dog. Since then, the South Dakota Republican’s political stock has cratered. Noem has refused to back down from her description of the incident, even arguing that President Joe Biden should treat his dog Commander, who has had many biting incidents, similarly.

Some Republicans have described Noem as toast amid the uproar.

Decades ago, Noem wrote that she killed Cricket after she decided that the dog was untrainable and overly aggressive.

Noem on Sunday tried to defend her memoir, including its inaccurate claim that she met with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during a combative interview on CBS’ “Face the Nation.” She also reiterated that killing Cricket illustrates that she won’t avoid hard choices.

“The reason that this story is in the book because people need to understand who I am and some of those difficult decisions,” Noem told host Margaret Brennan.

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