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'I'm really curious about the dog': Trump weighs in on Kristi Noem at a private fundraiser

Donald Trump told a room of wealthy donors in Manhattan on Tuesday night that he had questions about Cricket, the 14-month-old wirehaired pointer who was shot and killed by South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, an account that has haunted Noem as the race to be Trump’s running mate heats up.

During a private fundraiser, Trump weighed in on the firestorm that followed Noem’s admission in her new book that she had shot her young dog dead 20 years ago. Trump mused about Cricket’s fate in stem-winding remarks and described Noem as controversial, according to three sources who were in the room.

The governor was one of several “special guests” at the event, which included rumored vice presidential hopefuls Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida and Tim Scott of South Carolina, and North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, each of whom were introduced by Trump. The former president also shouted out some attendees, including former New York Rep. Lee Zeldin and New York state GOP Chairman Ed Cox.

“What a week!” Trump said when he got to Noem, adding, “The dog, the dog!”

“I’m really curious,” Trump said, “about the dog.”

Trump riffed on Cricket’s story — a tale that has prompted a fierce public backlash — before sounding a positive note as he returned to talk about longtime ally Noem and touted her steadfast support for him over the years.

“She’s been there for us for a long time,” Trump said. “She’s loyal, she’s great.”

One of the sources in the room said Trump was more bemused than critical about the dog controversy.

Neither the Trump campaign nor Noem’s office returned requests for comment.

Trump has so far largely tried to avoid weighing in on the dog controversy, even as Noem has taken criticism from both Republicans and Democrats. During a radio

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