Trump to visit Mount Rushmore for Independence Day celebration after lifting fireworks ban

'What can burn? It's stone'

Justin Vallejo
New York
Friday 01 May 2020 23:23
comments
Related Video: Crowds at Trump's Mount Rushmore fireworks event will not be asked to social distance or wear masks
Related Video: Crowds at Trump's Mount Rushmore fireworks event will not be asked to social distance or wear masks

Donald Trump will visit Mount Rushmore to celebrate Independence Day with the first fireworks display at the monument since 2009.

Mr Trump announced during a radio interview on Friday that he would travel to South Dakota for the celebration on 3 July.

"I got fireworks. For 20 years or something, it hasn't been allowed for environmental reasons, you believe that one? It's all stone," Mr Trump said. "Anyway, I got it approved so I'm going to go there on July 3 and they're gonna have the big fireworks."

Mr Trump announced his first visit as president to Mount Rushmore during an interview on Friday with Dan Bongino, a former Secret Service agent.

The president authorised the resumption of fireworks at the monument during a White House visit of South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem in January.

"What can burn? It's stone," Trump said in January. "So nobody knew why. They just said environmental reasons."

Fireworks at Mount Rushmore ended after 2009 due to concerns about a pine beetle infestation impact on the forest. An environment impact assessment last year found there would be no significant impact of fireworks due to improvements in the forest and fireworks technology.

After a previous visit to The White House, Governor Noem said that it was Trump's dream to be immortalised in stone on the mountain, alongside George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt.

"He said, 'Kristi, come on over here. Shake my hand,'" Ms Noem said. "I shook his hand, and I said, 'Mr. President, you should come to South Dakota sometime. We have Mount Rushmore.' And he goes, 'Do you know it's my dream to have my face on Mount Rushmore?' "

Ms Noem said she thought he was joking.

"I started laughing," she said. "He wasn't laughing, so he was totally serious."

It wouldn't be the first time the president has floated the idea, jokingly or otherwise, of being immortalised as a 60 foot stone statue on Mount Rushmore.

"I'd ask whether or not you think I will someday be on Mount Rushmore, but, no," he said during a 2017 rally in Youngstown, Ohio.

"But here's the problem, if I did it joking, totally joking, having fun, the fake news media will say 'he believes he should be on Mount Rushmore.' So I won't say it, ok. I won't say it."

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