El Paso shooting: Trump campaign still owes more than $500,000 to Texas city, as president plans return

Campaign originally owed Texas city $470,000, but incurred fees over missed payment, official says

Clark Mindock
New York
Tuesday 06 August 2019 17:45
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Donald Trump’s 2020 campaign still owes the City of El Paso more than $500,000 for various services provided during the president’s rally in the city in February, according to an official there.

The hefty tab is also among those identified in a recent report, which counted up at least nine city governments from Arizona to Texas to Pennsylvania where Mr Trump had held one of his “Make America Great Again” rallies, only to stiff the city for police services.

But, as Mr Trump prepares to visit the city reeling from Saturday’s mass shooting that killed at least 22 at a Walmart, the outstanding bill for $569,204.63 has cast a renewed focus on the president’s campaign’s tendency to leave localities in the lurch.

“The city staff have followed the process and procedures as it relates to any invoicing that we provide, and we will continue to do so accordingly as per city and state policies,” Laura Cruz-Acosta, the communications manager for the EL Paso city manager’s office, told the Texas Tribune, confirming the outstanding bill.

The Trump campaign had previously owed just $470,000, but reportedly missed a deadline to begin payments, incurring a penalty.

Mr Trump plans to once again visit the city on Wednesday, this time in a presidential capacity, and the planned trip has drawn attacks from Democrats who say the president should stay away.

Among those who have told Mr Trump to stay away from the city is former congressman Beto O’Rourke, who has called the president a racist in the days following the shooting — and pointed to Mr Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric as a cause of the shooting in his home city.

Mr O’Rourke is also running for president as a democrat.

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The list of cities the Trump campaign owes money to includes at least five with bills dating back to 2016, before Mr Trump became president.

That includes Green Bay and Eau Claire, Wisconsin; Tucson, Arizona; Burlington, Vermont; and Spokane, Washington.

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