President Trump says South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem should challenge 'RINO' Sen. John Thune in 2022

Senate overrides Trump’s veto of annual defense spending bill

Fox News correspondent Rich Edson joins ‘America’s News HQ’ with the latest from the White House

President Trump called Friday for South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, to challenge the state's incumbent Republican Sen. John Thune for his seat in Congress in 2022.

Trump backed Noem’s candidacy for Senate while referring to Thune as a "RINO," or "Republican In Name Only." Thune drew Trump’s ire recently after he criticized the president’s bid to challenge the results of the 2020 presidential election.


"I hope to see the great Governor of South Dakota @KristiNoem, run against RINO @SenJohnThune, in the upcoming 2022 Primary," Trump wrote on Twitter. "She would do a fantastic job in the U.S. Senate, but if not Kristi, others are already lining up. South Dakota wants strong leadership, NOW!"

Noem has been a staunch ally of Trump since she assumed office in 2019. The president repeatedly has clashed with Thune.

In a tweet last month, Trump referred to Thune as "Mitch’s boy," in a reference to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and warned that Thune would be "primaried in 2022, political career over."

The president stepped up his attacks on Thune after the senator said any attempt by Trump or his allies to challenge the Electoral College’s vote would "go down like a shot dog." Congress is set to review the results Jan. 6 in a final step before President-elect Joe Bide becomes president later in the month.

In December, Noem said she had no plans to challenge Thune in 2022.


"@Johnthune is a friend of mine, and I will not be challenging him," she wrote on Twitter. "I’m honored to be Governor of South Dakota and will ask the people to give me an opportunity to continue serving them as Governor in 2022."

As for Thune, he seemingly took the attack in stride telling a group of Capitol Hill reporters Friday, "What took him so long?," he asked with a laugh, "It’s fine. That’s the way he communicates."

When asked if he would try and patch things up with the president, Thune said, "No, I’m not sure what I did to be deserving of all that but that's, that's fine. I'm not sure that if anything changes his mind once he makes it up."

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