Maybe South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem didn’t shoot down her veep chances after all.

Former President Donald Trump defended Noem from the firestorm that erupted after she recounted shooting an unruly 14-month-old wirehaired pointer named Cricket in her memoir.

“Until this week, she was doing incredibly well and she got hit hard and sometimes you do books and you have some guy writing a book and you maybe don’t read it as carefully,” Trump said on the “The Clay Travis & Buck Sexton Show.”

“She did a great job as governor,” Trump added. “The dog story, you know, people hear that and people from different parts of the country probably feel a little bit differently, but that’s a tough story, but she’s a terrific person.”

The Biden-Harris campaign quickly pounced on those remarks.

“At the Biden campaign, we are proudly anti-puppy-killing and don’t think those who murder puppies are ‘terrific,’” spokesperson James Singer chided in a statement.

Noem, 52, had long been speculated as a top vice presidential contender for Trump, but controversy over the puppy killing ordeal from nearly two decades ago seemingly put a damper on that.

The revelation came in her book, “No Going Back: The Truth on What’s Wrong with Politics and How We Move America Forward,” which was released last Tuesday.

She has since defended the tale, contending that she had a young daughter at the time and that it was one of the “tough decisions” she made in life.

Noem also recounted shooting a “disgusting, musky, rancid” family billy goat that same day and was later forced to correct a claim about staring down North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

After igniting controversy, Noem seemingly cut her book tour short.

Trump, the first president in nearly a century who didn’t own a dog, also teased his mindset as he mulls who to tap for the vice presidency.

“We have a lot of good people,” he said. “I’m really a believer that you do it during the convention.”

The Republican National Convention is slated for July 15 to 18 in Milwaukee.

“I’m also unfortunately a believer that historically VPs — I don’t think ever have helped. I think they can hurt a little bit, but they haven’t helped,” Trump added. “You have one exciting day and then you’re back to the president is running.”

Trump reiterated that his main criteria is to select someone who will be ready to serve as a “great” president “just in case.”

The 45th president declined to offer up names but fielded questions about some contenders such as Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC), Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY), and Sen. JD Vance (R-Ohio).

“A lot of people are in play,” Trump replied when asked if those Republicans were up for consideration.

He also underscored that he wants Zeldin in his administration.

“Lee Zeldin is a great guy. He’s totally supportive of us,” Trump said. “Lee will definitely be somewhere in here in terms of the administration. He’s great. You know, he’s a great lawyer too.”

“He’ll be coming with me in some form anyway at a high level.”

The former congressman previously stated that he would consider serving in Trump’s administration should he win a second term.

Zeldin served in Congress until 2023 and unsuccessfully vied for governor of the deep blue Empire State in 2022.

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