President Donald Trump slammed Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey on Tuesday after the city demanded that his presidential campaign pay more than half a million dollars for security during his upcoming rally.
“The lightweight mayor is hurting the great police and other wonderful supporters,” Trump tweeted. “72,000 ticket requests already. Dump Frey and Omar! Make America Great Again!”
The lightweight mayor is hurting the great police and other wonderful supporters. 72,000 ticket requests already. Dump Frey and Omar! Make America Great Again! https://t.co/ibTqvSbsbn
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 8, 2019
Trump’s remarks were in reference to the city of Minneapolis’ decision to charge his campaign $530,000 for his rally on Thursday. City officials initially asked the Target Center to foot the bill and the arena subsequently tried to pass through the costs onto the campaign, reported the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
The estimated security costs, however, are significantly higher than what it has costed other Minnesota cities to host the president. The city of Rochester stated that Trump’s rally cost the city roughly $76,000 in security fees, and Trump’s visit to Duluth cost taxpayers only $69,000; in both cases, the cities paid the expenses, not the Trump campaign.
In a press release, Trump’s campaign put forth that “the ridiculous sum of $530,000 is more than 26 times the estimated security costs for a 2009 Target Center health care rally held by President Barack Obama.” It also noted that the “U.S. Secret Service is solely responsible for coordinating security.”
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!
— Brad Parscale (@parscale) October 8, 2019
“The radical leftist mayor of Minneapolis, Jacob Frey, is 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 press statement read. “Democrat Mayor Frey is using the bogus security charges to pressure the Target Center, site of the contracted October 10, 2019 rally, into preventing Minnesota residents from exercising their First Amendment rights in support of President Trump.”
The Trump campaign penned a letter on Monday to AEG Management, which manages the Target Center, threatening to move forward with a lawsuit against both AEG and the city of Minneapolis if the initial contract is not honored.
“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,” the campaign wrote. “We are well aware of Mayor Frey’s vocal partisan opposition to President Trump and calls to disrupt the rally. This last-minute squeeze seems to be nothing but a pretextual political effort with serious First Amendment ramifications.”
“Politics is no basis to interfere with a contract,” the letter continued. “And if the agreement with the Campaign is not honored, the Campaign will also look to hold AEG and the City responsible for the apparent infringement on the Campaign’s financial interests and fundamental First Amendment rights, as well as those of its many supporters.”
“Yawn…,” Frey responded to the president. “Welcome to Minneapolis where we pay our bills, we govern with integrity, and we love all of our neighbors.”
“Someone 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,” he added.