Trump campaign threatens to sue over 'phony and outlandish' rally security bill

Phone calls with Trump more risky venture than diplomatic boon

Trump's campaign accused Mayor Jacob Frey, who has been critical of the president, of "conjuring a phony and outlandish bill for security" at Thursday's rally at Target Center.

The Trump campaign said that the Minneapolis "city government preemptively informed the Target Center that it would be responsible for $530,000 in security and other costs" related to a Trump rally, "more than 26 times the estimated security costs for a 2009 Target Center health care rally held by President Barack Obama". The center then allegedly tried to pass the bill on to Trump's team and told them they would not be able to use the arena unless they agreed to the charges. Rather, the U.S. Secret Service - and the U.S. Secret Service alone - is "solely and directly" responsible for coordinating law enforcement services in connection with the rally.

"Someone please tell the Radical Left Mayor of Minneapolis that he can't price out Free Speech", Trump wrote.

"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.

Frey responded in a brief Tweet Tuesday morning, alluding to the campaign's past issues with paying cities security bills around campaign rallies: "Yawn". "72,000 ticket requests already".

Trump slammed Frey in a tweet Tuesday morning, calling him a "lightweight".

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Trump's lawyers referred to the Secret Service's responsibility for arranging law enforcement services in connection with the rally and quote the contract: "As such, no law enforcement costs shall be coordinated by [AEG], charged through [AEG] to [the Campaign], or shall otherwise be reimbursable expenses in connection with the [contract]".

The campaign wrote in a letter to AEG that the campaign and AEG are not required to pay for security and threatened to sue.

President Trump is scheduled to speak at the Target Center in downtown Minneapolis on Thursday.

A national investigation by the Center for Public Integrity found that among local governments that invoiced the Trump campaign, the amounts ranged between $8,000 to $82,000 for public safety costs related to rallies. A rally held in Rochester, Minn., in October 2018 cost the city $76,138. The letter said the Trump campaign "will aggressively pursue all remedies available to it in law or equity".

"Since 2015, the Trump Campaign has held almost 550 rallies all over the country, and this invoice is roughly 10 times the amount that a locality generally asks to be reimbursed", Michael Glassner, chief operating officer with the Trump campaign, told ABC News in a statement back in August regarding the outstanding El Paso bill. One: the Trump campaign reported it has raised, in the third quarter of this year alone, $125 million.

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