South Dakota governor flew with Trump on Air Force One after being exposed to coronavirus: report

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) flew with President Trump on Air Force One on Friday after having close interactions with Kimberly Guilfoyle, a senior adviser for the president’s campaign and the girlfriend of Donald Trump Jr. who has tested positive for COVID-19, The Associated Press reported on Monday.

According to the news agency, the governor interacted with Guilfoyle, who tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday, during a campaign fundraiser in South Dakota on Thursday. The two had also reportedly been seen hugging at one point during Guilfoyle’s visit to the state last week. 

Noem’s office told to The Hill on Monday that the governor tested negative for COVID-19 on Friday after interacting with Guilfoyle at the fundraiser on Thursday. Communications director Ian Fury also confirmed on Twitter that Noem had “conferred with the White House doctor immediately before boarding Air Force One, and he confirmed it was safe for her to travel with” the president.

While on the plane to Washington, D.C., with Trump on Friday, Noem did not wear a mask, a spokeswoman for her office, Maggie Seidel, told the AP. Seidel was also reportedly asked about potential risks to the president from Noem’s presence on the plane on Friday.

“I don’t understand why Gov. Noem now needs to manage the president’s medical care,” Seidel reportedly said in response.

When pressed about Noem’s Air Force One flight during a briefing earlier on Monday, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said, “Yes, the president is tested constantly, has tested negative, and those around him are tested as well.”

Pressed on why Noem was allowed to fly with Trump following her interactions with Guilfoyle, McEnany referred such questions to the U.S. Secret Service, saying: “They take the president’s health very seriously. They would never put him in a situation that would put him in harm’s way.”

Morgan Chalfant contributed.

Tags Associated Press Coronavirus Donald Trump Donald Trump Jr. Kayleigh McEnany Kimberly Guilfoyle Kristi Noem South Dakota

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