Trump campaign threatens lawsuit after Minneapolis asks for Target Center rally costs up front

The Trump campaign is accusing Minneapolis of trying to block Thursday's event.

The campaign to re-elect President Donald Trump is threatening to sue the operator of the Target Center after the City of Minneapolis asked that it pay the costs of the security required for Thursday's rally up front.

The Trump campaign issued a press release Thursday, with an attached letter from its attorneys, blaming Mayor Jacob Frey for what it calls a "phony and outlandish bill" based on "bogus security charges" in an effort to "block" President Trump's appearance in the city.

"We are well aware of Mayor Frey’s vocal partisan opposition to President Trump and calls to disrupt the rally," says the letter from Trump law firm Jones Day to the Target Center's management firm. "This last-minute squeeze seems to be nothing but a pretextual political effort with serious First Amendment ramifications."

Mayor Frey meanwhile tweeted a response to President Trump on Tuesday, saying: "Welcome to Minneapolis where we pay our bills, we govern with integrity, and we love all of our neighbors."

The Trump campaign, which revealed less than a week ago it had raised a record $125 million in the 3rd quarter of 2019, said that it received a request for $530,000 ahead of Thursday's rally.

The request came from Target Center operator AEG Worldwide, which the campaign claims had been "preemptively informed by the City of Minneapolis" that it would be responsible for the security and costs relating to the event, and was attempting to recoup said costs from the campaign.

But the campaign argues it is not responsible for the costs because the U.S. Secret Service is in charge of coordinating security, and as such neither the campaign nor AEG are responsible "for arranging or paying for rally-related security."

It then goes on to threaten that court action could be taken against AEG should it break its contract by not honoring the lease on Target Center as agreed, not only in legal courts, but also "in the court of public opinion."

That said, there have been numerous instances in recent years where cities that host Trump rallies have not been reimbursed for the services provided by local police.

The Center for Public Integrity in June found at least 10 examples of cities that are still waiting on payments totaling $840,000 for policing services.

The article notes how there remains uncertainty as to whether the campaign is legally liable. 

"That depends on who you ask. The cities are adamant Trump should pay up. But in many of these cases, there are no signed contracts between the municipal governments and the Trump campaign. The cities dispatched police officers to secure Trump’s events because they believe public safety required it — and the U.S. Secret Service asked for it."

Target Center is operated by AEG but owned by the City of Minneapolis.

In its letter to AEG, the Trump campaign cited a Pioneer Press article from 2009 relating to a President Obama event held at the arena, in which police estimated the security costs at around $20,000.

Given that 10 years has passed and the Trump rally is expected to bring with it significant protests, it's certain that costs have risen since then, but the campaign is calling the $530,000 figure a "ridiculous sum."

CityPages reports that Trump rallies held recently in Rochester and Duluth left the cities having to eat the cost of $76,138 and $69,000 respectively.

Sign up: Subscribe to our daily Bring Me The Newsletters

Mayor Frey has been criticized by right-wing politicians and media outlets after saying the president's "hatred is not welcome" in Minneapolis after the rally was announced.

The Trump campaign is accusing Frey of trying to "extort" the campaign ahead of the rally, which comes at a time when the president is the subject of an impeachment investigation for suggesting the U.S. could withhold funds from the Ukraine unless it assisted with an investigation into the family of his political rival, Joe Biden.

BMTN has reached out to Mayor Frey's office for further explanation, and will update this story as and when we receive a response.

The president meanwhile had this to say.

Prompting the aforementioned response.

Next Up


Greater Minnesota gets its first Raising Cane's

It's also the only Raising Cane's in the state with a double drive-thru.

mn zoo gladys the owl rectangle crop

Large owl named Gladys escapes from MN Zoo

The owl flew off to a tree during training, and has been on the loose since.

gustavus arboretum

Gustavus removes Swedish botanist's name from campus arboretum

The arboretum's name was a nod to Carl Linnaeus, the 18th-century Swedish botanist.

glow at state fairgrounds

Holiday lights festival returning to State Fairgrounds – but this time you walk

The drive-through display was launched last year as a pandemic-friendly event.

spending, personal finance, money

Money Gal Coaching: How to be smart about spending for personal growth

Kelly Blodgett used her passion behind becoming debt free to launch Money Gal Coaching.

Fleet Farm - Wikimedia Commons

Fleet Farm will move into former Twin Cities Target store

The old Target building has been vacant for years, having closed back in 2018.


Minnesota water towers compete to be named America's 'Tank of the Year'

Two water towers in the state are currently in the top five vote-getters.

brian koland roseville

Roseville Schools elementary principal dies by suicide

The principal's family asked that the district share he took his own life.

unsplash - school girl students

List of St. Paul schools that could close, merge with others under new plan

The district is looking to address coming enrollment and funding issues.


Trump campaign says rally will go ahead, it won't pay extra costs

It follows a spat between Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey and President Trump.

Screen Shot 2019-10-11 at 7.01.24 AM

City of Minneapolis reveals final cost of President Trump's rally

Mayor Jacob Frey says they're trying to get reimbursed by the Trump campaign.

President Trump to hold campaign rally at Target Center next month

It'll be the president's first rally in Minneapolis.

Screen Shot 2019-10-11 at 7.01.24 AM

Prince estate rebukes Trump campaign over 'Purple Rain' use

The campaign had agreed a year ago to not use the Purple One's songs during events.

Screen Shot 2019-10-11 at 7.01.24 AM

Minneapolis will recover $100K in costs connected to 2019 Trump rally

The Target Center operator said it'll pay the costs over three years.


The latest as Minneapolis prepares for President Trump's rally

Thousands of people are expected to take to the streets around Target Center.

Screen Shot 2019-07-18 at 9.10.30 AM

Dispute over Minneapolis PD uniform rule change ahead of Trump rally

The ruling prevents officers appearing on camera at political events and advertisements.

Screen Shot 2019-10-07 at 8.58.30 AM

Ahead of Trump rally, Mpls. police union is selling 'Cops for Trump' t-shirts

The proceeds from the shirt go to union-supported charities.