‘Political Malpractice’: What Kristi Noem’s Bizarre Story About Killing Her Family Dog Does to Her VP Chances

AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem has long been rumored to be on Donald Trump’s shortlist for vice president, but many believe new confessions about her treatment of animals have all but sunk her chances.

In her forthcoming book, the two-term governor reportedly details how she shot and killed a family dog and goat and the graphic accounts and curious reasoning have left many on both sides of the aisle scratching their heads.

On Monday’s show, Megyn was joined by Michael Knowles, host of The Daily Wire’s Michael Knowles Show, to discuss Noem’s bizarre disclosure and why it amounts to political malpractice.

Animal Instinct?

Noem’s new book, No Going Back: The Truth on What’s Wrong with Politics and How We Move America Forward, will not be published until next month, but The Guardian dropped a bombshell article on Friday about the politician’s history of killing animals on her family farm after obtaining a copy.

According to The Guardian, Noem writes about shooting her 14-month-old wirehair pointer named Cricket and a male goat as a way to illustrate her willingness to do the “difficult, messy, and ugly” things that need to be done.

The problem? Her portrayal of the two deaths have many questioning her rationale. 

“I’m sorry, it’s over… Trump is not going to pick… somebody who has managed to do the impossible and unite Democrats and Republicans alike in their anger for this woman who shot her puppy in the face,” Megyn said. “The fact that she thought this would make her look tough and become loved by the American populace shows how clueless she is.”

Kristi and Cricket

As the story goes, Noem took Cricket on a pheasant hunt with older dogs in an effort to teach her how to behave. Instead, according to The Guardian, Noem wrote that Cricket ruined the hunt by going “out of her mind with excitement,” “chasing all those birds,” and “having the time of her life.”

On the way home from said hunt, Noem apparently stopped to talk to some neighbors. During that time, the dog got out of the car and attacked several chickens on this family’s farm. The governor claimed Cricket started “grabb[ing] one chicken at a time, crunching it to death with one bite, then dropping it to attack another.”

When she tried to stop the bloodshed, Cricket apparently “whipped around to bite” her and, through it all, was “the picture of pure joy.” Noem said she ended up cutting the traumatized family a check for the lost chickens and “helped them dispose of the carcasses littering the scene of the crime.”

She declared that she “hated” Cricket because she was “untrainable,” “dangerous to anyone she came in contact with,” and “less than worthless… as a hunting dog.” After the incident with the chickens, Noem said she “realized I had to put her down.”

As The Guardian reports, Noem did so by leading Cricket to a gravel pit on her property and shooting her dead. At the same time, she also decided to kill a male goat that was “nasty and mean.”

Construction workers allegedly witnessed the killings, which occurred right before her kids got home from school. “Kennedy looked around confused,” she wrote of her daughter, who asked: “Hey, where’s Cricket?”

Damage Control

The outrage to The Guardian report was swift, which led Noem to post a lengthy ‘defense’ on X. “The fact is, South Dakota law states that dogs who attack and kill livestock can be put down,” she wrote in part. “Given that Cricket had shown aggressive behavior toward people by biting them, I decided what I did.”

Megyn noted that, based on what we know about the book, the governor only claimed Cricket tried to bite her, but now she appears to be alleging there were more “people” involved.

‘Political Malpractice’

The admission and subsequent clarification were not well received online, with some branding Noem “Jeffrey Dahmer with veneers” as a nod to her recent dental work scandal. “Honestly, this is political malpractice and she’s managed to piss off 98 percent of all dog and pet lovers in America,” Megyn said.

Knowles agreed that, politically speaking, this situation is a disaster for Noem. “It’s bad politics to shoot your puppy in the face and then to brag about it,” he said. “This will be studied for generations to come in poli sci classes as really dumb. There is no question.”

Even so, he wasn’t as outraged as some. “In Kristi Noem’s defense, who do you want to be the governor of your state… someone who is really nice and sensitive and feeling… or some cold-blooded killer who takes Cricket out to the gavel pit and puts Cricket down like Old Yeller,” he asked.

In Megyn’s view, neither extreme is the answer. “You can choose someone who is tough and not a puppy killer,” she concluded. “America loves its dogs… so this thing is stretched across party lines. Democrats and Republicans are outraged by her behavior.”

You can check out Megyn’s interview with Knowles by tuning in to episode 777 on YouTube, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you like to listen. And don’t forget that you can catch The Megyn Kelly Show live on SiriusXM’s Triumph (channel 111) weekdays from 12pm to 2pm ET.