‘Rushmore Will Stand Forever’: Trump Condemns Anti-Founding Protesters In South Dakota

Anders Hagstrom White House Correspondent
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President Donald Trump emphasized law, order and patriotism during his appearance at the Mt. Rushmore Independence Day celebration Friday night, condemning protesters who seek to dismantle monuments to American history.

“I am here as your president to proclaim before the country and before the world: This monument will never be desecrated; these heroes will never be defaced; their legacy will never ever be destroyed; their achievements will not be forgotten, and Mount Rushmore will stand forever as an eternal tribute to our forefathers and our freedom,” Trump said.

“This movement is openly attacking the legacies of every person on Mount Rushmore,” Trump said of protesters. “Today we will set history and history’s record straight.”

Trump’s speech followed an address from Republican South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem in which she condemned efforts to tear down the memory of America’s founders. (RELATED: Republican Attorneys General Warn Of ‘Cancel Culture’ Targeting Mt Rushmore Ahead Of 4th Of July Weekend)

“Make no mistake, [protests against the Founders] are being done deliberately to discredit America’s founding principles by discrediting the individuals who formed them, so that America can be remade into a different political image,” she said.

A celebration of U.S. military aircraft came prior to Trump’s and Noem’s speeches.

As Trump took the stage, news broke that Kimberly Guilfoyle, Donald Trump Jr’s girlfriend and member of the campaign, had tested positive for coronavirus and was forced to cancel her planned appearance at the event. Trump Jr. himself had reportedly tested negative.

Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, and those close to them are tested for COVID-19 on a daily basis, according to the White House.