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Lewandowski Tries to Enlist SD Cabinet in Noem’s Fox Fan Foraging; Team Noem Says, Watch More Fox!

South Dakota Standard‘s Tom Lawrence started connecting dots last month between former Trump campaigner Corey Lewandowski and Governor Kristi Noem’s effort to win the White House’s attention and perhaps a trip back to the Beltway. As if enough of our tax dollars aren’t already being used to boost Noem’s profile, AP’s Thomas Beaumont and Stephen Groves build on Lawrence’s work with a noteworthy, multi-sourced article that finds Lewandowski has advised Noem to enlist her Cabinet officials in her Foxy media campaign:

Noem’s increased contact with the White House comes after several months of close consultation with Lewandowski, Trump’s former campaign manager.

The two were among roughly 40 conservative guests, including Kirk and Donald Trump Jr., who attended an annual deep-sea fishing trip last summer off British Columbia hosted and paid for by Wyoming GOP donor Foster Friess.

Lewandowski has since connected Noem with conservative leaders and activists and opened doors to speaking engagements at conservative forums around the country, according to two South Dakota Republicans with direct knowledge of Lewandowski’s role. The two spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the private conversations.

And Noem, with Lewandowski’s help, became a more regular presence on Fox News Channel, regular viewing in the White House.

Not all of Lewandowski’s advice has landed. When Noem invited him to speak at her monthly luncheon with her Cabinet, the consultant told them that they, too, should be appearing on Fox News to promote Noem and the state. Some left confused about how a South Dakota bureaucrat would be booked by a national cable outlet, according to one person who attended the meeting and another who was briefed afterward.

Many South Dakota Republicans say she’s widely viewed as seeking a job in Washington, whether in Trump’s administration or beyond [emphasis mine; Thomas Beaumont and Stephen Groves, “‘A Resume for Future Office’: Virus Tests a GOP Governor,” AP via Sun City Daily Independent, 2020.05.05].

To this reporting, Noem’s imported wing-gal Maggie Seidel responds with Trump/Lewandowskiesque vilification of real journalism and crass boosting of their favored propaganda outlets:

Despite its self-proclaimed commitment to factual reporting, today’s AP piece includes little “news” and a lot of unsupported, inaccurate claims. I will leave you with what was communicated to Stephen. Governor Noem has let the science, data, and facts of what is happening on the ground in South Dakota drive her decision-making during this pandemic. Her commitment to fight for her people at the local, state and federal levels is unparalleled. Her conversations have – at times – been very direct with federal officials. That is to be expected. Her relationship with POTUS and the VP is one that has been strong for years. Remember, she served with Pence in Congress more than a decade ago. As noted by the Argus Leader and Keloland, no, it certainly has not always been easy. Rather than continuing to peddle nonsense about all the Governor supposedly wants to do back in Washington, the story that really deserves attention is how she has leveraged her relationships in Washington to improve the situation on the ground here in South Dakota. Also not getting nearly enough attention is how diligently the people of South Dakota have heeded the advice of medical experts, flattening our curve by more than 75%, or the fact that our hospitalization rate continues to be markedly lower than projections. A really accurate story would include a nod to the first-rate team at the Department of Health and the world-class doctors at Avera, Monument and Sanford for their guidance and advice throughout this pandemic. Lastly, since not enough praise goes out to good journalism, kudos to the Mollie Hemingway’s of the world for actually writing about the facts. Stay well, Maggie Maggie Seidel Senior Advisor & Policy Director Office of Governor Kristi Noem Office [Seidel e-mail, via South Dakota State Government Media ListServ, 2020.05.05].

Pro-Trump commentator Mollie Hemingway contributes to Fox News and writes for The Federalist, a conservative propaganda outlet that has been fanning the flames of Noem-mania among the national right-wing adulators. Noem’s singling out of a national journalist for praise on top of an attack on South Dakota-based Groves reflects her focus on using her new private video studio for national interviews while not giving local media access.

Seidel’s sleight-of-hand distractionism is transparent. The AP’s Groves and every other news outlet in the state have given wall-to-wall coverage of coronavirus, South Dakotans’ efforts to fight it, our doctors’ recommendations, our recovery rates, Noem’s daily briefings, her hydroxychloroquine push, and her policy responses or proud lack thereof. Amidst the flood of coronavirus news, Stephen Groves works with a colleague to analyze Noem’s fishing for national attention—newsworthy, in that South Dakotans might wonder if their Governor’s busy Fox News and national podcast outreach might distract her from practical problem solving here on the homefront—and Team Noem attacks their well-informed journalism and urges us to watch Fox News instead.

Far from refuting this new report, Team Noem’s response seems to make the report’s point: a fair chunk of Kristi Noem’s attention is somewhere other than South Dakota.

Governor Noem might have responded directly herself, but she was busy yesterday with another live appareance on Fox News—”she never stops working”:



  1. jerry 2020-05-06 08:32

    Where’s the money Lebowski…er NOem. Ya got 1.25 Billion bucks and still no tests for us all. Go on the tee vee so no one can ask you about your corruption.

    “Rather than continuing to peddle nonsense about all the Governor supposedly wants to do back in Washington, the story that really deserves attention is how she has leveraged her relationships in Washington to improve the situation on the ground here in South Dakota.”

    So, where’s the money? How did NOem improve anything here? More lies from a known lying liar. Why do the good folks in Rapid City have to make 60,000 masks for free when you’re grifting 1.25 Billion bucks? NOem is pulling a trump and getting free political face time to show that she has done nothing that no one asks her about.

  2. Loren 2020-05-06 10:36

    Why, you ask, is Kristi being singled out for national attention in the GOP? All you need do is look at her congressional record. SHE DOES WHAT SHE IS TOLD… PERIOD! She will follow like a little puppy, no questions asked.

  3. jerry 2020-05-06 11:05

    So, these bosses must’ve told her to grift the 1.25 Billion so they could divvy it up later. Good plan, NOem leaves the state and no one ever hears of the $1.25 Billion again. Kind of like the EB5 Rounds scandal, no one gets killed, except for Benda, but like the big boss trump says, there has to be sacrifice.

  4. Bucko Bear 2020-05-06 13:33

    Puppy??? You know the difference between kristi and a puppy right? The puppy eventually stops whining.

  5. Debbo 2020-05-06 22:56

    That was an absolutely worthless interview. There was nothing of substance asked and the answers were equivalent.


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