A White House official made discreet inquiries over the possibility of Donald Trump’s image being carved into Mount Rushmore, it has been reported.
According to the New York Times the official, who was not named, last year approached the office of South Dakota governor, Kristi Noem to ask how an additional president could be added to the monument.
Details of the approach emerged over the weekend.
Likenesses of four presidents - George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt - were immortalised in the massive 1941 sculpture which took 14 years to create.
The attraction in the Black Hills attracts more than two million visitors a year.
Mr Trump first raised the possibility of his being added to the pantheon of iconic US presidents when he met Mrs Noem at the Oval Office as far back as 2017.
The South Dakota governor assumed the president was joking, she recalled a year later.
“He said, ‘Kristi, come on over here. Shake my hand’
“I shook his hand, and I said, ‘Mr. President, you should come to South Dakota sometime. We have Mount Rushmore.’
“And he goes, ‘Do you know it’s my dream to have my face on Mount Rushmore?’ I started laughing. He wasn’t laughing, so he was totally serious.”
The South Dakota governor did present Mr Trump with four-foot replica of Mount Rushmore - with his face added - when the US president visited the state early last month.
Mr Trump called the report "fake news" on Sunday night.
Social media reaction to the New York Times' report was scathing.
California Democratic congressman, Eric Swalwell suggested on Twitter that it would be more appropriate to add Mr Trump’s likeness to the Confederate likenesses at Stone Mountain in Georgia.
However, the chances of Mr Trump’s Mount Rushmore dream becoming a reality are considered slim, given the lack of useable rock on either side of the existing likenesses.
The kerfuffle over Mr Trump’s desire to carve his way into history was the culmination of a difficult weekend for the president.
On Saturday he abruptly ended a news conference after being challenged over his claiming credit for passing the Veterans Choice Programme, which made it easier for former servicemen and women to get medical care.
The legislation was passed in 2014 and signed by Barack Obama. Mr Trump signed a law which expanded eligibility for the scheme.
Even though Joe Biden’s poll lead over the president has been narrowing, Mr Trump still appears to be facing an uphill battle to be re-elected in November.
Battleground polls taken last week in key swing states including Michigan, Ohio and North Carolina still show the former vice-president ahead.
Mr Trump has sought to regain the initiative by issuing a series of executive orders which would guarantee the unemployed receive $400 a week in benefit.
With the Democrats and Republicans deadlocked over the next relief package, Mr Trump went over their heads in announcing his own plans.
The orders, which Mr Trump signed at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey would also defer tax and student loan payments.