SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – It was a historic day for South Dakota. President Trump touched down in Washington, D.C. after spending Friday afternoon in Sioux Falls. KDLT’s Allison Royal was there when Trump stepped onto South Dakota soil for the first time in his presidency.
“I’ve never met a president before,” said Miles Duncan, age 12.
It’s an experience few will ever have: meeting a sitting president.
All eyes were on the president on Friday when he landed at the Air National Guard at 3 pm.
As he walked down the stairs, Trump waved to the crowd of people welcoming him to South Dakota.
Dozens of people, mainly service members and their families, greeted Trump. Some chanted “we love Trump.”
Surrounded by Secret Service members, Trump shook lots of hands.
“Well, I had my hand like this and he kind of grabbed my hand like that because I didn’t realize my left hand was out,” said Duncan.
Trump isn’t the first president to visit South Dakota. However, the Trump administration kept pretty quiet about the trip’s details. Michael Card, a political science professor at the University of South Dakota, says this may be for security reasons or because of Trump’s outspoken skepticism of media.
“This president has less information available than either of the two to three previous presidents regarding their travels,” said Card.
U.S. Senators John Thune and Mike Rounds greeted the president, along with Governor Dennis Daugaard.
Then, Trump headed to the Convention Center in Sioux Falls.
It cost $500 to get into that door, and to snap a photo with the president? It came with a $5,000 price tag per couple.
Trump attended a fundraiser for gubernatorial candidate Kristi Noem. Card says that in South Dakota, Trump voters are often synonymous with Noem voters.
“If you were going to give to representative Noem and her gubernatorial race and you didn’t like the President, you wouldn’t be here,” said Card.
After less than three hours in the Rushmore state, Air Force One took off, flying home to the White House.