Donald Trump tweeted out his support for the city of El Paso after a mass shooting on Saturday claimed the lives of at least 20 people, but the shooting has also brought new scrutiny on the president for stiffing the city on a $470,000 bill for services at a rally he held there in February.
As Politico reported, Trump was briefed on the shooting shortly after it took place on Saturday, then took to Twitter to pledge his support for the city and the state’s governor.
“Terrible shootings in ElPaso, Texas. Reports are very bad, many killed,” the president tweeted. “Working with State and Local authorities, and Law Enforcement. Spoke to Governor to pledge total support of Federal Government. God be with you all!”
But his support for El Paso also brought new criticism to Donald Trump for his refusal over the course of more than six months to pay a bill for more than $470,000 that he owed for transportation and security services during his campaign rally in February. As KSAT in San Antonio reported, the city of El Paso has been sending invoices to the Trump campaign for six months asking for payment to reimburse city departments, including police and buses.
As the report noted, the city sent a letter back in May letting Donald Trump’s campaign know that the payment was “extremely past due.” The Trump campaign still has not paid.
“We are contacting you regarding the past due invoice(s) listed above,” the letter from the city read.
“We realize this may been a oversight on your part; however, your account with the city of El Paso is extremely past due… Further, the city may choose to not enter into a contract with an individual that is indebted to the city for more than $100.”
The Trump campaign has repeatedly failed to pay security bills sent by cities where he has held rallies. Salon reported on 10 different instances where Trump’s campaign failed to pay police who served as security for rallies.
Donald Trump still hasn't paid the $470,000 he owes to the city of El Paso for the services they provided at his February rally, despite multiple attempts by city to recoup debt: https://t.co/VyvaWy5dkO
— Kolten Parker (@KoltenParker) August 3, 2019
As KSAT reported, the city of El Paso will be forced to absorb the costs of providing security and other services to the Trump campaign if they continue to refuse to pay. Saturday’s shooting has brought a wave of donations to the city from across the country as many look for a way to help what is one of the deadliest mass shootings in American history. The Trump campaign has not released any statement on the debt or said if it intends to pay back the city of El Paso.