Dear Commons Community,
President Donald Trump has gone on a tweet war with Jacob Frey, the Democratic mayor of Minneapolis, over a security bill for over $500,000. Trump claimed yesterday that Frey is trying to bully him out of holding a rally tomorrow in the city by sticking his campaign with the excessive security charges.
“Someone please tell the Radical Left Mayor of Minneapolis that he can’t price out Free Speech,” Trump said in a tweet. “Probably illegal! I stand strongly & proudly with the great Police Officers and Law Enforcement of Minneapolis and the Great State of Minnesota! See you Thursday Night!”
“The lightweight mayor is hurting the great police and other wonderful supporters,” Trump said in another tweet, adding that Minnesotans should “dump” Frey and Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn, a frequent target of the president’s ire.
Frey responded in a tweet that “someone” should “tell the President of the United States that he can afford to help pay for the extra time our officers will be putting in while he’s in town.”
“Welcome to Minneapolis where we pay our bills, we govern with integrity, and we love all of our neighbors,” Frey said in another tweet.
In a Monday night statement, Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale accused Frey of “abusing the power of his office and attempting to extort President Trump’s re-election campaign by conjuring a phony and outlandish bill for security in an effort to block a scheduled Keep America Great rally.”
The feud broke about after officials in Minneapolis sent the Target Center, where Trump’s Thursday rally is slated to be held, a $530,000 bill for policing and other costs associated with the event. The Target Center then forwarded the bill to the Trump campaign, threatening to keep them from using the venue.
The Trump campaign responded by threatening to sue the Target Center’s management firm for breach of contract, adding that U.S. Secret Service is “solely responsible for coordinating security.” The campaign pointed to then-President Barack Obama’s 2009 healthcare rally at the arena, which rang up a significantly lower security bill.
When Trump first announced the Minneapolis rally late last month, Frey said he would not be able to prevent the gathering but said Trump’s “message of hatred will never be welcome in Minneapolis.” On Monday, city officials told the Minneapolis Star Tribune they were unsure of the total cost for the rally, but that they expected it to be expensive.
The mayor’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment from NBC News asking why the bill was so high. The Trump campaign did not immediately respond to a request from NBC News asking why this bill was any different from other security bills that municipal governments have sought to have the campaign pay — which in many cases, it did not, as an NBC News/Center for Public Integrity report earlier this year found.
That report detailed 10 city governments that were still waiting on the Trump campaign to pay similar, albeit cheaper, invoices in connection to Trump rallies as of June. The Trump campaign did not immediately respond to NBC News asking if it has since paid any of those bills.
In total, Trump’s campaign as of June owed city governments a sum of over $841,000. The largest invoice came from the president’s El Paso, Texas, rally from earlier this year, where city officials billed the campaign more than $470,000.
The Secret Service does not reimburse local governments for assistance during campaign events because it is not funded to do so, a spokesman told NBC News in June.”
Trump never paid his bills before he was president. That is why so many of his businesses went bankrupt.