South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) went on Fox News on Thursday to reveal that President Joe Biden refused to issue the permits this year for the Fourth of July celebration at Mount Rushmore, alleging that he never gave a reason why.
Noem explained that Donald Trump had brought the celebration back after Barack Obama got rid of it, ostensibly for environmental concerns. She said that Biden is now cancelling it again with no explanation as to why.
“[W]e had the fireworks at Mount Rushmore for years,” Noem said. “It wasn’t until President Obama came into office that they took it away. He made the decision to pull it based on environmental concerns, so as soon as I became governor, even I wasn’t even sworn in yet, I had a conversation with President Trump and said, ‘Would you ever help us get back our celebration at America’s monument, the one that recognizes the importance of our founding fathers, that celebrates our independence and freedoms?’”
“And he said, ‘You want fireworks, and you want me to help you?’ And I said, ‘Yes,’ and he said, ‘I’ll do it.’ Took us a year and a half to do all of the environmental studies, to do the back burning necessary to protect the area from fire danger, and we did every single requirement that was laid out in the protocols to get the celebration back,” she continued.
“It was fantastic,” Noem added. “In the middle of a pandemic at Mount Rushmore on July 3, the country unified. We saw riots and violence happening in every other state, and South Dakota stepped up and hosted a celebration of people that love this country and were peacefully gathering to recognize how unique this country is, so we want to do that every year.”
When Fox News’ Lawrence Jones asked “what changed” this year, Noem suggested that “political reasons” were behind the decision by the Biden administration to cancel the celebration.
“Biden just decided not to let us have it,” she stated. “Literally, just would refuse to issue us the permit to be on that federal property right there. Now, there is a federal law — because I’ve sued them over this — there’s a federal law called the Administrative Procedures Act, which says that they have to give us a real reason for why they denied us the opportunity to be there and to celebrate.”
“We met the environmental concerns,” Noem concluded. “We met the fire danger protocols. We’ve consulted with the state, local and federal officials. We’ve done the consultations with the tribes. We met every single protocol. There was no reason to deny us those permits unless it was for political reasons.”
Check out her full interview below.