The good news is that Kristi Noem hasn’t been bullying anyone in her office all week. The bad news is that that’s because she hasn’t been in her office. Instead, our part-time Governor is off gallivanting around the country again, visiting at least four* different states in the last four days, with not one of those trips including any documented official state business.
And in between, on Sunday night, Noem popped into a charity dinner at a Las Vegas Benihana where her close chum and political coach Corey Lewandowski was allegedly being scum toward rich Idaho Republican donor Trashelle Odom:
Odom was one of about two dozen major Republican donors at the Sunday dinner, which was held at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino’s Benihana restaurant. Odom was seated next to Lewandowski during the gathering, part of a four-day conference held by Victoria’s Voice Foundation, a charity devoted to combating substance abuse. South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, to whom Lewandowski serves as an informal adviser, was also among the dinner’s attendees.
According to a statement provided by an Odom family attorney, Lewandowski allegedly remarked on the size of his genitalia, described his sexual performance and showed Odom his hotel room key. After the incident, Odom told people that Lewandowski repeatedly spoke about sex while using expletives.
Attendees also observed Lewandowski growing physical with Odom.
Odom left the room but was soon followed by Lewandowski, who remarked that she had a “nice ass,” according to the statement from her attorney and another attendee who heard the comment. Lewandowski also “threw his drink at Mrs. Odom, and it landed all over her shoe and the bottom of her dress,” and “called her stupid,” her attorney stated [Alex Isenstadt, “Trump Donor: Corey Lewandowski Made Unwanted Sexual Advances,” Politico, 2021.09.29].
Victoria’s Voice—oh yeah, that’s the outfit run by that Florida socialite Noem likes palling around with on the runway instead of talking to South Dakota’s own drug addiction awareness campaigners. But let’s not get distracted.
Odom says Corey, lewd and frisky, followed her out of the restaurant and continued to harass her at the hotel’s bar. Odom evidently has witnesses who protected her from the creep that night and who could testify against him now:
Odom then left the restaurant for an after-dinner party in the hotel’s lavish Verona Sky Villa, where witnesses described a chaotic scene. One person who interacted with Odom recalled seeing her in tears and pleading for help. By this time, she had been joined by her sister and stepson, who had accompanied her to Las Vegas.
Attendees said Odom retreated to the other side of the bar with her sister and stepson when Lewandowski came to the villa. Lewandowski followed her, at which point several other attendees tried to shield Odom from him, shepherding her to another part of the bar, according to three people who were present. According to Odom’s attorney, “Corey then moved around the bar with them” and continued “to try to touch Mrs. Odom” [Isenstadt, 2021.09.29].
Yuck! Governor Noem, is this really the kind of jerk you want on your campaign team? He seems a little too eager to handle your potential donors.
And hey, First Gentleman, Mr. Noem, is this really the kind of creep you want standing shoulder-to-shoulder with your wife at far-off hotels when she’s on those long out-of-state campaign trips?
Governor Noem, come home soon, where we know you’ll be safe from that skeezy Lewandowski character… and where maybe you can get some real work done.
*Update 16:03 CDT: I revised this post and headline to include Florida in Noem’s hectic travel schedule over the last few days after finding Noem’s September 25 Twitter pic of her appearance on the National Federation of Republican Women stage that afternoon.