Kristi Noem wants to kill a dog again: Who is Trump's future deputy?

If you ask Kristi Noem, Joe Biden's dog should now also be on the collar. The governor of South Dakota has now called for this in an interview. Is it all just a crazy farce? Not quite – because: Donald Trump likes that.

She's done it again… Just a few days ago, Kristi Noem, governor of the US state of South Dakota, disturbed the American people with the story of how she shot and killed her 14-month-old dog years ago. But that's not enough. Despite the devastating response to her confession, Noem went on the CBS show “Face the Nation” and suggested that Joe Biden’s German Shepherd “Commander” should have been killed long ago. The “First Dog” recently made headlines with numerous biting attacks. That's why it's now time to make a “decision” about him too.

Now you don't have to take every crazy thought that a US politician says on a talk show seriously. In the case of Noem, however, things are a little different. The 52-year-old Republican has both feet firmly in Donald Trump's camp and is now even being considered a “running mate”, a possible candidate for the vice presidency with whom Trump could enter the race in the upcoming presidential election in November. After all, he has already confirmed that she is a “hot politician” who is doing “a great job.”

First woman to serve as governor of South Dakota

Who is the woman who, on the one hand, causes a stir with irritating confessions of animal killings and, on the other hand, leads a US state?

Noem is 52 years old and says she works as a rancher, farmer and small business owner. She has three children with her husband Bryon. She holds a bachelor's degree in political science from South Dakota State University.

She started her political career in 2007 as a member of the South Dakota House of Representatives. There is no record of any desire to kill pets from that time. Three years later, she was elected as a member of the US House of Representatives and, since 2019, has been the first woman to hold the governorship of South Dakota.

Kristi Noem is a tough abortion opponent

Noem understood early on how to cause a stir in politics. In the past, she made a name for herself as a supporter of the Tea Party movement and, above all, as a staunch opponent of abortion. After the end of the blanket right to abortion in the USA, she poured fuel on the fire in a TV interview. “Every single life is precious,” the Republican replied when asked whether a pregnant, underage rape victim had to give birth to the child. “I don't believe a tragic situation should be perpetuated by another tragedy.”

Another topic on which the Republican likes to provoke people with her statements is gun rights. Noem is an avowed gun lobbyist. In 2023, she proudly boasted at an event organized by the NRA gun lobby that her almost two-year-old granddaughter already owned a rifle, among other things.

And now the dog killings… The British Guardian got the ball rolling when it published Noem's as yet unpublished biography “No going back” (in German, for example “There is no going back”) quoted. In it, Noem describes that she actually wanted to train her dog “Cricket” to hunt pheasants. The approximately 14-month-old dog was too impetuous and tended to scare the birds away. In addition, Cricket also ripped off chickens on a neighboring property “like a trained assassin” and also snapped at Noem herself. So she shot the dog.

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According to the Guardian, she wanted to use such descriptions to underline her willingness to do “difficult, messy and ugly” things as a politician if necessary. She then proceeded in a similar way with a “bad and mean” goat that, on the one hand, chased Noem's children and, on the other hand, smelled “disgusting”.

Got the dog

After the Guardian article was published, Noem defended himself several times on Platform X, formerly Twitter. “We love animals, but on a farm difficult decisions like these have to be made again and again,” she wrote dryly. “Unfortunately, a few weeks ago we also had to kill three horses that had been with our family for 25 years.” Ultimately, the goat's death was a question of safety for her. She only had the choice between her children and the animal, so she chose the goat.

Sources: VoteSmart Register, South Dakota homepage, Guardian, with DPA