Trump’s Potential Running Mate Kristi Noem Admits Some Disturbing Parts of Her Book Are Fake

By: Amanda Kusumowidagdo | Published: May 09, 2024

One of the names in Donald Trump’s shortlist of running mates in the upcoming presidential election is South Dakota Governor, Kristi Noem, who’s set to release her second autobiography.

But instead of praise, many people found absurd and disturbing things in the pre-release excerpts that got them confused. Beyond the story of killing her family-owned dog, some lies are just too big to be believed.

A Big Lie

A leaked passage from her book, entitled “No Going Back: The Truth on What’s Wrong with Politics and How We Move America Forward,” said she had met with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

A photo of a woman posing in front of the U.S. flag with a photo of her book cover titled No Going Back

Source: Office of the Governor, South Dakota (Kristi Noem)/Wikimedia Commons; Center Street Publisher (cover)/Amazon

The passage read: “I’m sure he underestimated me, having no clue about my experience staring down little tyrants (I’d been a children’s pastor, after all). Dealing with foreign leaders takes resolve, preparation, and determination.”


No Meeting With Kim Jong-un

But this meeting didn’t happen. (Or did it?) According to Noem’s spokesperson, Ian Fury, the mistake occurred because the book was written by a ghostwriter, who mistakenly assumed Noem met with the North Korean leader.

An Asian man wearing a suit exiting a black car

Source: Office of the President of Russia/Wikimedia Commons

“It was brought to our attention that the upcoming book No Going Back has two small errors,” Fury said. “This has been communicated to the ghostwriter and editor. Kim Jong-un was included in a list of world leaders and shouldn’t have been.”

Did They Meet or Didn’t They?

But the clarity of what truly happened, of whether or not the two met, is not being clearly answered. Noem went on some interviews and kept on mentioning she’d met various world leaders… without clarifying whether she’d met Kim.

Two people sitting with a microphone and a laptop in between them

Source: CoWomen/Pexels

To Margaret Brennan, host of CBS News’ “Face the Nation, when she pressed Noem about the false passage, the governor said, “I’m not going to talk about my specific meetings with world leaders, I’m just not going to do that. This anecdote shouldn’t have been in the book, and as soon as it was brought to my attention, I made sure that was adjusted.”

The Publisher’s Statement

Center Street, an imprint of Hachette Book Group specializing in military and conservative politics, already released a statement via X regarding the false passage.

White text on black background of a statement on behalf of Kristi Noem about her book

Source: Center Street/X

“At the request of Governor Noem, we are removing a passage regarding Kim Jong Un from her book No Going Back, upon reprint of the print edition and as soon as technically possible on the audio and ebook editions,” the statement read.

Noem Already Recorded an Audiobook

The statement seems to imply that Noem had already narrated the audiobook version of the autobiography herself. This would also be edited, which meant Noem read the false statement about North Korea when she recorded it the first time.

A person wearing a headphone holding an open book in front of a microphone

Source: Karolina Grabowska/Pexels

Then, the error should’ve been caught sooner. As to why no one, not even Noem, corrected this information much earlier remains a mystery. Business Insider, who asked why the governor didn’t report the error as soon as she found it, didn’t get an answer.


The Fibbing Continues

CBS News didn’t get any explanation either when they asked a similar question. Instead, Noem countered with an accusation that the host was treating her “differently than every other person” she spoke with on the show.

The black logo of CBS News on a white background

Source: William Golden/Wikimedia Commons

In fact, she kept count on how many times she was interrupted on the show (“This morning in our 15-minute interview, Margaret Brennan interrupted me 36 times — once every 25 seconds on average,” she posted on X) and pointed her accusing fingers at “fake news media.”


Macron Also Mentioned

Another world leader that Noem’s book mentioned was the President of France, Emmanuel Macron. In the book Noem said she canceled a meeting with Macron because the president had said something “very pro-Hamas.”

A man wearing a suit and a tie standing on a podium in front of the flag of France against a blue background

Source: Jacques Paquier/Wikimedia Commons

But either this meeting was something cooked up by the ghostwriter or Noem herself, Macron’s office denied they had a meeting scheduled.


A (Fake?) Disagreement With Nikki Haley

Another eyebrow-raising story out of the book was the one about Nikki Haley, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. According to Noem, in 2021 while “hauling a trailer full of horses,” she received a call from Haley. After she hung up, she had the feeling she’d just been threatened by the former ambassador.

A woman in a pink dress suit sitting on a sofa under the logo of the state of Virginia

Source: Glenn Youngkin/Wikimedia Commons

Noem then stated, “Unsurprisingly, I never received any calls or ‘mentoring’ from her, but the message was clear. I’m the alpha female here, and you should know your place. I actually felt a little sad for her.”


Haley’s Spokesperson Speaks Out

But Haley’s camp was unsure how the story got twisted around so much until it appeared the two female politicians appeared to be fighting. Haley spokesperson Chaney Denton even corrected the timeline of the conversation: she found the call did happen, but it was in 2020.

Woman using smartphone and taking notes in notebook in front of microphones

Source: George Milton/Pexels

“Nikki has long called and written notes supporting other women when they go through challenging times. She called Governor Noem in 2020 to encourage her when she was criticized for keeping her state open during Covid. How she would twist that into a threat is just plain weird,” Denton said.


Running Mate Chances

The false passages in her book about meeting world leaders when she didn’t even have an appointment would’ve pushed her out of favor with Donald Trump as his running mate. But in truth, it was probably the story about killing the dog that did it.

A brown shaggy-haired dog running a field of grass

Source: CrossIron Wirehaired Pointing Griffons/Facebook

Sources close to the former president said Noem had committed a political suicide by bringing negative attention. This would severely disqualify her from ever getting a chance at vice presidency.


Still in the Running?

Politico reported Noem to be present at a Republican donor event at Mar-a-Lago, Florida, with Trump (although no photo or audio evidence has supported this claim yet). She admitted to being under attack from a smear campaign over the story about her killing the dog.

A photo of a woman wearing purple jacket next to a photo of a man with white hair wearing blue suit

Source: Richard Smith (@Richard_ezio)/X

Nonetheless, Noem is still scheduled to appear at the California GOP convention later in May. The story of the dog was meant to picture her unwillingness to hide from the truth and make tough decisions, so she plans to prove herself by coming forward under a storm of criticisms.