Trump urges South Dakota Gov. Noem to challenge GOP Sen. Thune in 2022 primary

Noem has called Thune a friend previously.

Updated: January 1, 2021 - 8:40pm

President Trump used a New Year’s Day tweet to target one of his antagonists, GOP Sen. John Thune, by urging South Dakota’s popular Gov. Kristi Noem to challenge Thune in the 2022 primaries.

Trump’s tweet made clear he intends to use his substantial political movement to punish those in the Republican Party he believes have crossed him. 

Thune, who opposed Trump’s efforts in the Senate on Friday to approve $2,000 stimulus payments for Americans, is atop the list along with Sen. Mitt Romney.

"I hope to see the great Governor of South Dakota @KristiNoem, run against RINO @SenJohnThune, in the upcoming 2022 Primary," Trump wrote. "She would do a fantastic job in the U.S. Senate, but if not Kristi, others are already lining up. South Dakota wants strong leadership, NOW!"

Noem has been a reliable ally to Trump, but last month made clear she has no plan to challenge Thune and would rather run for reelection as governor.