South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem’s take on 2024, Trump and the Jan. 6 hearings: ‘The Takeout’

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem isn’t ruling out a run for the White House in 2024, that is, unless former President Donald Trump jumps into the race.

“I think he’s going to run. And if President Trump runs, I’m going to support him,” Noem told chief Washington correspondent Major Garrett on this week’s episode of “The Takeout.”

Noem has been a longtime supporter of the former president and is widely considered a possible vice presidential pick, should Trump capture the Republican nomination for a third term.

But he counters with Trump’s brazen and often misguided approach to politics that relies heavily on personal insults from perceived enemies.

“I can’t fix that about him. I’ve said many, many times that’s one of the things I don’t appreciate about him,” Noem said, praising him for his handling of the COVID pandemic.

In his state, Noem refused to implement mask mandates, social distancing or vaccine requirements, setting South Dakota apart from the vast majority of states but in line with some Republican governors. Two of the nation’s most prominent Republican governors, Greg Abbott of Texas and Ron DeSantis of Florida, went further and banned private companies from imposing vaccine requirements. Noem said he didn’t like vaccine requirements, but he wouldn’t expand the government’s reach by meddling in private business affairs.

“I believe in personal freedom,” Noem said, adding that he has no regrets about his handling of the virus. South Dakota is in the middle of the pack for per capita COVID deaths.

Noem said that vaccines against COVID-19 are “incredibly unproven” but revealed that she was vaccinated. Right now, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 72% of Americans are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The White House’s COVID response team continues to remind Americans that vaccination is the nation’s most important weapon against serious infection and hospitalization and death.

“Many of the outcomes are not necessarily locked in, and we still have to continue to see the long-term effects of what we’re developing and what we’re recommending,” Noem said.

Noem said he has seen “very little” of the Jan. 6 committee hearings. “I don’t spend time watching these hearings.”

He called the attack on the Capitol a “horrible day” and declined to say whether President Trump bears any responsibility. “I think there are aspects of that day that we should all use to examine ourselves. And I know President Trump has as well.”

Noem criticized the structure of the House committee investigating the riot which is made up of 7 Democrats and 2 Republicans. As for whether high-profile witnesses like former White House counsel Pat Ciopollone and former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson are telling the truth, Noem said, “I think they’d want to be honest there.”

Executive Producer: Arden Farhi

Producers: Jamie Benson, Jacob Rosen, Sara Cook and Eleanor Watson

CBSN Production: Eric Soussanin Show Email: TakeoutPodcast@cbsnews.comTwitter: @TakeoutPodcastInstagram: @TakeoutPodcastFacebook: Facebook.com/TakeoutPodcast

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