Trump on Gov. Kristi Noem killing her dog: 'We all have bad weeks'

(The Hill) – Former President Trump responded to the backlash against South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R)’s anecdote about killing her dog several years ago, saying in a new interview it was a “tough story” but that “we all have bad weeks.”

“I think [Noem’s] terrific. A couple of rough stories, there’s no question about it,” Trump said to conservative podcast hosts Clay Travis and Buck Sexton in an interview aired Tuesday. “And when explained — the dog story, people hear that and people from different parts of the country probably feel a bit differently, but that’s a tough story.”

“She had a bad week. We all have bad weeks,” he added.

Noem, who was floated as a possible vice presidential pick for Trump, came under fire after an excerpt from her new memoir, “No Going Back: The Truth on What’s Wrong with Politics and How We Move America Forward,” revealed how she shot “Cricket,” her family’s nearly 14-month-old hunting dog.

The South Dakota governor said she shot the German wirehaired pointer on her property after taking it pheasant hunting. Noem said she “hated” the dog and claimed it was responsible for attacking a neighbor’s chickens and trying to bite her.

She also wrote of shooting and killing a “nasty and mean” male goat that smelled and liked to chase her children, shortly after killing the dog.

Noem was later slammed by a series of Democratic governors and conservatives for the pet killing. She defended her actions and said the incident and her willingness to share it was a testament to her authenticity and ability to make difficult choices.

Trump seemed to indicate that Noem was not entirely to blame for the book’s contents.

“Until this week, she was doing incredibly well. And she got hit hard, and sometimes you do books, and you have some guy writing a book and you maybe don’t read it as carefully, you know,” Trump added. “You have ghostwriters too. They help you, and they, in this case, didn’t help too much.”

The anecdote, coupled with other recent controversies involving Noem, has hurt her prospects as a potential Trump running mate.

“She’s DOA,” one Trump ally told The Hill. “Any time you have to respond more than once to a story, it’s not good.”

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