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President Trump’s campaign rallies are racking up big bills, and he’s reportedly not paying them.
A new investigation from NBC News and the Center for Public Integrity found the Trump campaign owes city governments across the country upwards of $800,000 for police and public safety costs from his events.
The largest invoice to date comes from El Paso, Texas, where the president held a campaign rally in February. Trump still owes the city $470,417 for the event, the invoice shows.
Some invoices date back to 2016, before Trump was elected president. His 2016 campaign skipped out on municipal public safety bills from Green Bay and Eau Claire, Wisconsin; Tucson, Arizona; Burlington, Vermont and Spokane, Washington, according to the report.
Another five cities, including El Paso; Mesa, Arizona; Billings, Montana; Erie, Pennsylvania; and Lebanon, Ohio, are owed a combined $629,015.88.
While some local governments remain hopeful that the Trump campaign will pay its bills, others don’t expect the issue to be resolved any time soon.
“Let’s be honest, when does Trump ever pay his bills?” Spokane City Councilmember Kate Burke told NBC News.
One of the biggest issues preventing these cities from being reimbursed is, in many cases, there are no signed contracts between the municipality and the Trump campaign, according to the report. Cities sent law enforcement to Trump events as a required safety measure, but also because the Secret Service asked for additional security.
The Trump campaign could face legal troubles for stiffing the bill.
According to the Federal Election Commission, “A political committee shall report a disputed debt … if the creditor has provided something of value to the political committee.” (The webpage has been removed, but is archived here.)
Trump’s campaign has not reported any debts to municipal governments or their respective police departments, which is likely a violation of federal campaign finance laws, election law lawyers told NBC News.
Democratic lawmakers have taken issue with the president not paying his bills, too. California Rep. Zoe Lofgren, chairwoman of the Committee on House Administration called Trump’s actions “outrageous,” and added that “taxpayers deserve to know to what extent they are subsidizing the president’s political activities.”
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