Albuquerque officials are so frustrated with a long overdue $211,000 debt owed by the deadbeat Donald Trump campaign that they’ve sent the bill directly to the former president’s Mar-a-Lago resort.
And that’s after the New Mexico city called in help from a debt collection agency, the Albuquerque Journal reported.
It’s been 18 months since the city billed the campaign for costs related to a rally in 2019.
Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller griped about the money owed the city in a recent interview on “The Daily Show With Trevor Noah.” He said the city took desperate actions when the bill went unpaid, and phone calls were ignored.
“He [Trump] should be getting these annoying voicemails that we get from scam companies where it’s like, ‘You owe debts,’” Keller told Jordan Klepper. “I think Mar-a-Lago is now getting those calls.”
It’s actually not funny, emphasized Keller. “In my mind, [Trump] owes us a lot more” than what the campaign was even charged “because there was about a day and a half where we couldn’t even function as a city,” he said.
Shortly after the rally, as the city waited for the campaign to settle up, Keller complained: “Our resources for law enforcement are critical and limited.”
Klepper joked that Trump had, in effect, helped to “defund the police” because much of the funds would have gone to the police department.
Trump stayed overnight in Albuquerque for a Sept. 16, 2019, campaign rally in nearby Rio Rancho. The visit forced City Hall and parts of downtown to shut down.
The city billed the campaign for extra police coverage, road barricading and paid leave to city employees whose workdays were cut short during the shutdown over the two days.
Bernalillo County, where Albuquerque is located, also billed Trump $139,000 for the 2019 campaign visit. It was forced to finally write it off as “bad debt,” a spokesperson told the Albuquerque newspaper. Rio Rancho — where Trump actually held the rally — said that the campaign “made it clear that they would not reimburse” the city for any ancillary costs beyond the actual event, such as traffic control.
The Trump campaign had a reputation for sticking local taxpayers with costs for the president’s numerous rallies and political visits — even as his campaign raised record amounts of money.
In the past, the campaign had claimed that it was up to the Secret Service to pay up, but localities have pointed out that’s only for official presidential visits, not campaign stops.
The nonprofit Center for Public Integrity reported last October that the Trump campaign owed at least $1.82 million to 14 communities.
On the other hand, an estimated $2.8 million in contributions to Trump’s reelection campaign went directly to the coffers of his heavily indebted Trump Organization, Forbes reported.
Estimates of total contributions to Trump’s campaign or from various PACs spent on Trump properties during his presidency have ranged from $10.5 million to nearly $17 million.
Trump mused in an interview with Fortune in 2000 that “it’s very possible that I could be the first presidential candidate to run and make money on it.”
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