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South Dakota governor on blowing up Mount Rushmore: 'Not on my watch'
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R)/(Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

South Dakota governor on blowing up Mount Rushmore: 'Not on my watch'

Monuments honoring US presidents continue to fall, causing growing speculation that the site could be targeted for destruction

Far-left fringe activists have called for the blasting of Mount Rushmore for years, gaining little to no traction. But as statues honoring America's Founding Fathers continue to fall after weeks of ongoing rioting sparked by the death of George Floyd, conservatives are raising the alarm that the monument to four American presidents in South Dakota's Black Hills could legitimately end up on the target list.

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) says of the threat: "Not on my watch."

What are the details?

On Tuesday, conservative pundit Ben Shapiro asked on Twitter, "So, when is our woke historical revisionist priesthood going to insist on blowing up Mount Rushmore?"

Gov. Noem replied, "Not on my watch."

Conservative co-host of "The View," Meghan McCain," also voiced concern for the monument, tweeting, "We're like one week removed from entire cable news panels debating whether or not we should blow up Mount Rushmore."

While Shapiro and McCain's comments may not have been entirely serious, the concern that Mount Rushmore could be destroyed is not far-fetched considering statues of each of the four presidents — George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln — whose faces are etched into the rock have either been toppled, or slated for removal — peacefully and otherwise — in the U.S. in recent days.

Rioters in Portland removed statues of Presidents George Washington and Thomas Jefferson over the past few weeks. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) announced over the weekend that the statue of President Theodore Roosevelt will be removed from the front of the American Museum of Natural History at the museum's request.

Protesters have vowed to tear down the Emancipation Memorial in Washington, D.C., which depicts President Abraham Lincoln and a freed slave, while Boston is considering removing a similar statue featuring Lincoln.

Fox News reported that "there's no indication yet of any serious push" for destroying Mount Rushmore, but Gov. Noem told "Fox & Friends" that there has been online activity indicating threats to the monument. She said, "this threat to the mountain could remain in place for quite some time," but vowed, "we're prepared to be there and be diligent about protecting it."

The governor posted a portion of her interview with the outlet on Twitter with the message, "The men on Mt. Rushmore helped make America the greatest country in history. They weren't perfect; nobody is. But we should learn from their example and work together to accomplish their dreams for our country."

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