South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) reportedly used the state airplane when traveling to right-wing political events, potentially violating state law, according to flight logs obtained by Raw Story.
According to Raw Story, Noem traveled to events in 2019 using the state airplane that included an NRA conference in San Antonio, a Turning Point USA gathering in Dallas, as well as organizational meetings with other Republican governors in other states. The flight logs indicate tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of taxpayer-funded flights that went into funding Noem’s travel to out-of-state events.
Noem traveled in 2020 to events supporting then-President Trump’s reelection campaign. However, Raw Story reported that Noem’s out-of-state trips appear unrelated to her Trump campaign-related travel. The South Dakota governor’s communications team previously said all of her Trump campaign-related travel was provided by the then-President’s campaign.
“Governor Noem follows the law when weighing whether it is appropriate to use state aircraft,” Noem’s spokesperson, Ian Fury, told Raw Story in an email. “One of Governor Noem’s primary roles as Governor is to be South Dakota’s top ambassador to the rest of the nation. She has made this a big part of her governorship, advertising to attract businesses to our state, to drive tourism to our state, and to appeal to particular industries.”