President Donald Trump’s campaign is not fond of reimbursing cities for increased police and security during his MAGA rallies, and according to a Newsweek from April, the tab is only climbing higher.
A report by the Center for Public Integrity indicates that Trump’s campaign owes a whopping $1.82 million to 14 cities for public safety-related costs during his rallies — which Newsweek noted is nearly double the amount the nonprofit had uncovered in June of last year.
And while the Trump campaign has plenty of money to cover the bills — about $100 million, according to the news outlet — the president’s team insists it is not responsible for covering the costs, telling the Center for Public Integrity that the Secret Service should fork over the dough.
“The Secret Service pointed the finger at Congress, arguing that lawmakers haven’t set aside any funding that would allow agents to reimburse local governments for the public safety costs,” Newsweek reported.
To be fair, Trump is not the only candidate to shirk bills from municipalities after holding campaign events:
According to an invoice from the Burlington Police Department, President Barack Obama owed a few thousand dollars for a visit to Vermont in 2012. However, many 2020 Democratic candidates and several Republicans say they always repay local officials even though it’s not legally required, according to the Center for Public Integrity.
But localities are particularly anxious to receive payment in light of the coronavirus pandemic, Newsweek noted. Social distancing measures and stay-at-home orders are putting a strain on local government budgets.
“Without this money, we cannot help our most vulnerable, and I guarantee we do not have enough money to prevent lives lost and homes lost,” Kate Burke, a city council member in Spokane, Washington, told the Center for Public Integrity.
Trump reportedly owes the city more than $65,000 from a 2016 political event.