Noem admits to errors in new book  (Audio)

May 6, 2024

WASHINGTON (AP) — South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem is releasing a new book called “No Going Back,” but on Friday her office said she would actually be going back to correct some errors — including a false claim that she once met with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Here’s what the governor told CBS’s Face the Nation on Sunday….

In her soon-to-be-released book, “No Going Back: The Truth on What’s Wrong with Politics and How We Move America Forward,” Noem also describes instances where she has stood up to international leaders — anecdotes that would have bolstered her foreign policy experience — but those were swiftly called into question. She writes about canceling a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron.

After The Dakota Scout first reported Noem’s descriptions of the meetings, Noem spokesman Ian Fury said that the book “has two small errors. This has been communicated to the ghostwriter and editor.”

In addition to the meeting with Kim, Fury said Noem also mistook the dates in which she spoke with former United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley.

“The book has not been released yet, and all future editions will be corrected,” Fury added.

In a section of the book about meeting with international leaders, Noem writes: “Through my tenure on the House Armed Services Committee, I had the chance to travel to many countries to meet with world leaders — some who wanted our help, and some who didn’t.

“I remember when I met with the North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un,” she writes. “I’m sure he underestimated me, having no clue about my experience staring down little tyrants (I’d been a children’s pastor after all).”

The description of such a meeting was quickly challenged and described as implausible by experts on U.S.-North Korea relations. When Noem was a member of the House Armed Services Committee from 2013 to 2015, relations between the two countries were tense and a congressional delegation meeting with Kim would have generated considerable awareness, said Syd Seiler, a former U.S. intelligence officer who spent decades working on the relationship with North Korea.

“Nothing like this happened,” he said, adding that he was working at the White House and State Department during that time period and was not notified of a congressional meeting with Kim.

Noem did join an international congressional trip, known as a codel, to Japan, South Korea and China in 2014.

Meanwhile, Noem is trying to fend off the backlash for writing about shooting her dog as well as a goat.

“Don’t believe the #fakenews media’s twisted spin,” she posted on the social platform X this week. “I had a choice between the safety of my children and an animal who had a history of attacking people & killing livestock.”

Her spokesperson, Fury, also cast scrutiny of the errors in Noem’s book as biased, saying, “The media will, of course, try and make these tiny issues huge.”

Following the interview on CBS, Noem posted on social media, “This morning in our 15 minute interview, Margaret Brennan interrupted me 36 times–once every 25 seconds on average. In the fake news media, there are two sets of rules, and conservative views are always treated differently. That’s why Americans don’t trust the Fake News.”