Trump Campaign Attacks Mayor Over $530K Rally Security Bill: 'Outrageous'

Grant Boone
October 9, 2019

A dispute between the Trump campaign and the city of Minneapolis over the city's request for an upfront payment for security at President Trump's planned rally there turned personal, as Mayor Jacob Frey suggested Trump should spend more time doing his job and less time "tweeting garbage out".

President Trump and his campaign have accused the Democratic mayor of Minneapolis of "attempting to extort" the campaign with over half-a-million in security fees ahead of Thursday's rally.

On Monday, the Trump campaign released a letter from its lawyers to AEG, the management company that runs the Target Center in Minneapolis.

President Donald Trump's campaign has threatened to sue the city of Minneapolis over the security costs related to a campaign rally.

"This is an outrageous abuse of power by a liberal mayor trying to deny the rights of his own city's residents just because he hates the President", Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale said in a statement on Monday.

Trump weighed in as well, encouraging his supporters in a Tuesday morning tweet to "dump" Frey, as well as Rep. Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.), whose district is in Minneapolis.

Earlier in the day Trump tweeted that 72,000 people had already asked for free tickets to the Thursday rally.

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The letter states it is the licensee's responsibility "to coordinate through the Secret Service and pay for any law enforcement services necessary for the event".

"The Campaign can not be in breach of an obligation it does not owe to AEG", the letter continues.

The City of El Paso confirmed to ABC News on Tuesday that the bill has still not been paid by the Trump campaign-and the city of Minneapolis has taken notice, even reaching out to the City of El Paso regarding the bill, according to El Paso Communications Director Laura Cruz-Acosta.

"We presume this contrived legal justification for threatening to terminate the contract is the result of AEG receiving pressure from City leadership determined to cancel the rally".

Frey said when Trump's rally was announced last month that Trump's "message of hatred" was unwelcome. But at a news conference Tuesday, he said the city will do all it can to guarantee a "safe and peaceful week", regardless of his political differences with Trump. A study by the Center for Public Integrity has found that the president has failed to reimburse numerous cities for expenses incurred in providing security at his rallies.

The Trump campaign has framed the issue as freedom of speech, but the city insists the issue is the cost to taxpayers.

Many cities have sent invoices to the Trump campaign after his rallies are over, asking for reimbursement for tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars in expenses for such things as staff overtime, traffic control, and extra law enforcement.

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