POLITICS

Trump Still Owes El Paso $569,204 For Campaign Rally, City Says

Local politicians have asked Trump to reconsider returning to the city in the wake of one of the latest mass shootings.

Before President Donald Trump returns to El Paso, Texas, he may want to pay the city the more than half a million dollars he still owes it.

The Trump campaign owes El Paso $569,204 from a rally he held in the city back in February, with the majority owed to the city’s police and fire departments, according to a copy of the bill obtained by the Texas Tribune.

White House officials have said the president is planning to return to the city after a gunman killed 22 people at a local Walmart on Saturday, in what was the first of two mass shootings over the weekend in the U.S. The second shooting, early Sunday morning, was in Dayton, Ohio, and left nine people dead, not including the gunman.

President Trump speaks during a rally in El Paso, Texas, in February. The Trump campaign still owes the city of El Paso more
President Trump speaks during a rally in El Paso, Texas, in February. The Trump campaign still owes the city of El Paso more than half a million dollars for costs associated with the event.

The El Paso attack is believed to have been motivated by racism and xenophobia ― two prejudices the president has encouraged.

Alexsandra Annello, a member of the El Paso City Council, has asked Trump not to return anytime soon.

“I do not support President Trump’s visit to El Paso and I respectfully ask him not to come. Our resources are strained and we are still trying to figure out how to recover after a brutal, racially motivated attack, that his racism and hate obviously influenced,” she said on Monday night.

El Paso County Commissioner David Stout made the same request, echoing Annello’s wording.

“I respectfully ask that President Trump not visit our grieving and pain-stricken community. We are picking up the pieces after a brutal, racially motivated attack, that his racism and hate obviously influenced,” he said on Twitter Monday. “Furthermore, the added strain of a presidential visit is the last thing our law enforcement and public entities need to deal with at this time.”

Trump, seen boarding Air Force One en route to Washington after a weekend in Bedminster, New Jersey, is expected to travel to
Trump, seen boarding Air Force One en route to Washington after a weekend in Bedminster, New Jersey, is expected to travel to El Paso, Texas, following Saturday's mass shooting there.

The bill sent to the Trump campaign in April was initially $470,417.05 but a one-time 21% late fee was added in June after the campaign failed to pay the initial amount owed, the Tribune reported.

The city sent the Trump campaign a letter back in May asking that he pay his outstanding debt to six departments. It reportedly went ignored.

“We are contacting you regarding the invoice(s) listed above,” the letter read. “We realize this may be an oversight on your part; however, your account with the City of El Paso is extremely past due.”

The Trump campaign did not respond to requests for comment from the Texas Tribune or HuffPost.

Trump, whose businesses have filed for bankruptcy six times, is known for not paying his bills ― both before and after he was elected president.

The Center for Public Integrity reported back in June that the Trump campaign still owes more than $840,000 to 10 cities — including El Paso — for public safety costs associated with his political rallies, some of which go back to his first presidential campaign.

Federal and city financial records obtained by the Washington Post also show that the Trump administration and Congress still owe more than $7 million to Washington, D.C., for his inauguration.

D.C.’s mayor also recently asked Trump to reimburse her approximately $1.7 million in costs related to his July 4 “Salute to America” celebration.

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