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White House says it’s disturbing that Kristi Noem thinks Biden’s dog should be shot and killed


The White House on Monday had a terse message for South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, who suggested one of President Joe Biden’s pets should suffer the same fate as the dog she admitted shooting to death.

“We learned last week, obviously like all of you, in her book that she killed her puppy. You heard me say that was very, very sad. We find her comments from yesterday disturbing. We find them absurd,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters Monday.

She continued, “This is a country that loves dogs. And you have a leader talking about putting dogs down – killing them. And that’s a disturbing statement to say.”

Noem, Jean-Pierre advised, “should probably stop digging herself in a hole.”

In a forthcoming memoir, Noem boasted about killing her dog, Cricket, in a gravel pit after she said the dog was “untrainable.” Noem’s admission has caused days’ worth of bipartisan uproar toward the governor, who was once considered to be vying to be former President Donald Trump’s running mate in the coming election.

In the book, and in media appearances since the Cricket controversy began, Noem suggested Biden’s dog, Commander, should also die.

Commander was sent away from the White House last October after CNN reported that the 2-year-old German shepherd was involved in a significant number of biting incidents involving US Secret Service personnel, executive residence staff and other White House workers.

“What would I do if I was president on the first day in office in 2025? Thanks for asking. I happen to have a list. The first thing I’d do is make sure Joe Biden’s dog was nowhere on the grounds (‘Commander, say hello to Cricket for me’),” Noem wrote, according to an advance copy of the book obtained by CNN.

During an appearance on CBS’ “Face the Nation” Sunday, Noem was pressed on whether she believed Commander should be killed.

“How many people is enough people to be attacked and dangerously hurt before you make a decision on a dog and what to do with it? That’s the question that the president should be held accountable to,” Noem said.

Asked by host Margaret Brennan on whether she was saying the dog should be shot, Noem repeated,“That’s what the president should be accountable to. What is the number?”

CNN learned through a Freedom of Information Act request in February that Commander bit Secret Service personnel in at least 24 incidents at the White House and other locations, according to internal USSS documents.

Those documents revealed the extent to which the situation had become a serious workplace issue for the hundreds of staff supporting White House operations, and how agency personnel changed their habits to avoid being injured by the German shepherd.

“The recent dog bites have challenged us to adjust our operational tactics when Commander is present – ​​please give lots of room,” an unnamed assistant special agent in charge of USSS’ Presidential Protective Division wrote to their team in a June 2023 email, warning that agents “must be creative to ensure our own personal safety.”

That warning came months before the dog was removed from the White House, with multiple biting incidents taking place in the interim.

Commander, who was gifted to the president and first lady as a puppy in 2021, is currently living with Biden family members in Delaware.

“The president and first lady care deeply about the safety of those who work at the White House and those who protect them every day. Despite additional dog training, leashing, working with veterinarians, and consulting with animal behaviorists, the White House environment simply proved too much for Commander. Since the fall, he has lived with other family members,” Elizabeth Alexander, first lady Jill Biden’s communications director, said in a statement at the time.

The Bidens’ other dog, Major, caused an injury to an unnamed Secret Service agent and had previously been sent away to Delaware.

A source close to the family said that the Bidens feels “awful” and had been “heartbroken” about the spate of incidents, but President Biden made light of the situation last month, joking at a New York fundraiser, “As Harry Truman said, ‘You’re president. If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog.’ I got one, and he bit a Secret Service agent, so I don’t know.”