Trump 2020 Campaign Accuses Minneapolis Mayor of 'Outrageous Abuse of Power' Over $530,000 Bill for Security at Rally

The Trump 2020 campaign accused the Democratic mayor of Minneapolis of an "outrageous abuse of power" over a $530,000 bill for security costs associated with a rally due to be held this week in the city.

But the mayor said it was unfair for local taxpayers to fund the costs of the Trump 2020 rally at the city's 20,000-capacity Target Center, which is lined up for Thursday.

According to a news release by President Donald Trump's campaign, Mayor Jacob Frey allegedly told the Target Center it would be liable for the additional costs. The release said the Target Center passed those costs on to the Trump campaign at the threat of canceling the rally.

The Trump campaign threatened to sue the Target Center for breach of contract if it withholds the use of its facilities over the bill and stated that the U.S. Secret Service, which has responsibility for protecting the president, has the sole responsibility 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," said Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale in a statement.

"People want to hear from their president, and no mayor looking to beef up his resume for a run for higher office should stand in the way."

"It's not extortion to expect that someone pay their bills, even if that person really hates paying their bills," Mayor Frey said in a statement.

"At a time when federal funding for local government is at a historic low, it is unfair for our taxpayers to foot the bill for the operating costs of an event like this with secret service and other major security demands."

The Trump campaign also released a letter from its lawyers at Jones Day to AEG, the management company that runs the Target Center.

"Your position is clearly wrong under the plain wording of the contract. Neither the Campaign nor AEG is responsible for arranging or paying for rally-related security," the letter states.

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 cannot be in breach of an obligation it does not owe to AEG," the letter continues. "Yet AEG's failure to deliver the Target Center on October 9 would be a breach of contract, and the Campaign will aggressively pursue all remedies available to it in law or equity–not to mention in the court of public opinion.

"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. We are well aware of Mayor Frey's vocal partisan opposition to President Trump and calls to disrupt the rally."

According to the mayor's office, the public safety costs are expected to be around $400,000 with another $130,000 incurred for third-party barriers, lane closure fees and traffic control, among other items. The costs are calculated by local law enforcement and city officials.

Moreover, a copy of the operating agreement between AEG and the city states that the former is liable for "all costs, expenses and liabilities arising from and associated with the occupancy, use, operation, promotion, management, maintenance and repair of the Arena, including associated overheads of AEG and its Affliates."

Donald Trump 2020 rally Minneapolis security bill
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to supporters at a rally in Manchester on August 15, 2019 in Manchester, New Hampshire. The Trump 2020 campaign is due to rally in Minneapolis on October 9 but a dispute with the city's Target Center over security threatens the event. Spencer Platt/Getty Images

This article was updated with a statement by Mayor Frey and more background information.