Striking back at a report by The Associated Press claiming the daughter of South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem received special treatment in receiving a real estate appraiser license, Noem dismissed the claim as baseless and a "political attack."
"The real story is that my daughter received no special treatment," Noem told Newsmax on Tuesday in an exclusive interview from the Ronald Reagan ranch outside Santa Barbara, California, which aired Wednesday on "Rob Schmitt Tonight."
"She did exactly what every other person did, applying and receiving an appraisers license in the state of South Dakota.
"This is another political attack."
Noem noted the AP source was a "disgruntled" former employee who filed an age discrimination complaint, Sherry Bren, 70. Bren, who ran the state agency that had initially denied Kassidy Peters' application, attended a governor's office meeting with Noem, along with Bren's then-direct supervisor and the state labor secretary, according to AP.
"The one article that got published by the AP was filed with innuendos [from a] disgruntled employee that filed a lawsuit on age discrimination, nothing having to do with my daughter," Noem told Rob Schmitt. "Now they're taking quotes out of context. It's just a political attack and I get it, but these are my children.
"And it's unfortunate that they think they have to stoop that low."
Noem insisted the allegations of wrongdoing were a political attack waged against her by AP, which has also come into conflict with GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis and has been at odds with President Donald Trump over explicitly dubbing his insistent claims of election fraud "baseless."
DeSantis, Noem, and Trump are all prominent potential headliners on the GOP's 2024 ticket.
"I signed up for this job," Noem said. "I get it. They're going to attack me and I realize that.
"Now they're going after my kids and trying to destroy my kids. There was a point in time where people didn't do that. I realize we're in new territory today."
After a year of attacks from the Biden administration aimed at conservative governors to "get out of the way" on COVID-19 mandates and a direct Biden denial of South Dakota's bid to host Independence Day fireworks at Mount Rushmore as it did under Trump, Noem is calling out what she sees as clear political bias.
"While they completely ignore Hunter Biden, they're going after my daughter," she lamented. President Joe Biden's son has been accused of influence peddling and questionable dealings with foreign governments.
"I think that it is devastating for this country," she continued. "There's long-term consequences to it. I had whole press conferences during COVID where I stood up and just pointed out how the media had been lying to people.
"They would take one data effect during one period of time and just twist it to just make it look like something that just absolutely was not true. I was consistently standing up over and over again, forcing them to tell the truth. And asking them as many questions as they were asking me, to hold them accountable."
The mainstream media has an "agenda," and it is not the one conservative elected governors have, according to Noem.
"Unfortunately, we have this combative relationship now, because they have an agenda," she said. "And we just have to be willing to go to all mechanisms to get the truth out.
"I also challenge Americans every day: Do your homework. Don't blow up people over a headline that you read. And don't believe something just because you read it somewhere. Do your homework. Be smart. This country was built by people who were willing to put the work in to be successful and to know the right information.
"So, if you're falling in like sheep behind some headline or some individual who wanted some 30-second feature in an article, it's wrong, and we may deserve the consequences we're getting in this country then."
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