Trump Says He Plans to Visit Mount Rushmore for July Fireworks

(Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump said he plans to travel to Mount Rushmore in South Dakota on July 3 for an Independence Day fireworks show, one of several trips he scheduled after remaining in Washington for more than a month due to the coronavirus.

Trump said in an interview with a conservative commentator that his administration lifted environmental restrictions that prevented the fireworks show at the monument to four presidents.

“For 20 years or something it hasn’t been allowed for environmental reasons,” Trump told commentator Dan Bongino in a podcast that aired Friday. “You believe that one? It’s all stone. So I’m trying to say, ‘Where’s the environmental reason?’ Anyway I got it approved. So I’m going to go there on July 3rd and they’re going to have the big fireworks.”

Mount Rushmore hasn’t hosted a fireworks display since 2009 to prevent wildfires, according to the National Park Service. But the service found this year there is “no significant impact” and allowed the show to resume.

The president made the announcement on Friday, as he ramps up his travel schedule to show the country is ready to open for business from coronavirus-related closures that have virtually stopped travel and tourism.

He is traveling to Camp David later Friday, his first time leaving the White House is more than a month, and will visit the 2020 battleground state of Arizona next week to tour a Honeywell International Inc. facility making medical supplies to treat virus patients.

The visit will mark Trump’s first trip to Mount Rushmore, which features the faces of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt. South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem said in 2018 Trump once told her it was his “dream” to have his head carved into the stone monument.

“If I answer that question, ‘Yes,’ I will end up with such bad publicity,” Trump said in an interview last year when asked if his likeness should appear alongside those of the nation’s most revered presidents.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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