Trump's Minneapolis rally on despite security costs dispute

Minneapolis police union selling 'Cops for Trump' T-shirts in response to uniform ban

The campaign for the re-election of President Donald Trump has accused the mayor of Minneapolis, Minnesota, of extorting them in order to prevent a planned campaign rally.

Trump's campaign, in a statement late Monday night, said Mayor Jacob Frey is abusing the power of his office by "conjuring a phony and outlandish bill for security" at Thursday's rally at the Target Center.

She said the city plans to be more proactive in the future with AEG, the management firm for the city-owned Target Center, about public costs. The city imposed the bill after officials said it was "not fair" for its residents to pay for the costs of Trump's campaign rally, the Star-Tribune reported.

Former White House press secretary Sean Spicer says the price increase from $20,000 when Obama campaigned to $500,000 for the Trump campaign makes it obvious that they are trying to keep the president's message out of the state.

Trump slammed Frey in a tweet Tuesday morning, calling him a "lightweight". Probably illegal! I stand strongly [and] proudly with the great Police Officers and Law Enforcement of Minneapolis and the Great State of Minnesota!

The president said Tuesday he stands with the great police officers of Minneapolis, after they were banned from wearing their uniform at political rallies while off duty.

The ensuing battle over the security fees has infuriated the Trump team, which is accusing Democratic Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey of trying to block Trump's visit.

"This is a campaign going into states other campaigns couldn't put in play", Bill Stepien, a senior Trump campaign adviser, said in a phone interview. Mass presidential events in Minneapolis have also been much cheaper in the past. You claim it is somehow the Campaign's responsibility to "coordinate" these additional services and expenses, "including arrangements for payment to be made directly by [the Campaign] to the City, in advance of" the rally.

After saying the Trump campaign is hiring so many staffers in Minnesota that "we just can't keep up", the party added, "Here's the bottom line: There is no path to a Democratic victory in the presidential race without Minnesota in the blue column".

"The Campaign can not be in breach of an obligation it does not owe to AEG", the campaign's lawyers argue in the letter.

President Trump thanks the Minneapolis Police Federation for their support, while criticizing the city's mayor.

She says the price tag is more than 26-times what it cost when Barack Obama was at Target Center in 2008.

Trump weighed in as well, encouraging his supporters in a Tuesday morning tweet to "dump" Frey, as well as Rep. Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.), whose district is in Minneapolis.

He and his police chief, Medaria Arradonon, last week barred off-duty members of the city's police force from attending the rally and other political events in uniform.

However, the police union assured that this measure will not stop sympathizers of the Republican candidate inside the body from showing their support and told "Fox & Friends" that they have sent red T-shirts that read, "Cops for Trump" that have already run out. In a series of tweets on Tuesday, the president said the Frey can not "price out free speech". "I am with you 100%!" the president said.

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