MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - President Donald Trump's upcoming campaign rally in Minneapolis is back on after a daylong public battle between Trump and Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey over who would pay for extra security at the event.
The city had demanded that Trump's campaign pre-pay $530,000 for police overtime, street closures and barriers at Thursday night's rally, scheduled to be held at Target Center. The Trump campaign called that extortion and threatened a lawsuit.
The dust-up was mostly resolved late Tuesday afternoon, when Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale said the rally would go on and the campaign wouldn't pay any extra fees.
"The arena in Minneapolis has been fully approved," Parscale said in an emailed statement. "The Target Center has backed off cancelling the contract, which means President Trump’s Keep America Great rally will go on as scheduled."
Target Center, a nearly 20,000-seat NBA arena, is city-owned but privately managed by AEG Worldwide.
Frey said the city needed $400,000 for Minneapolis Police officer overtime and an additional $130,000 for public works changes. He did not provide a full accounting for the cost estimate, nor did he fully explain why it was so much higher than what Minneapolis has billed other political candidates in years past.
"It’s not extortion to expect that somebody pay their bills even when they really don’t want to pay their bills," Frey told reporters during a Tuesday afternoon news conference.
The dispute calls into question whether cities can force political campaigns to pay in advance for rallies.
Federal election law does not explicitly require campaigns to reimburse municipalities for security costs, and often, campaigns ignore the bills they receive.
City officials in El Paso, Texas, have publicly asked -- without success -- for the Trump campaign to reimburse $470,000 for costs associated with a rally there in February.
Other times, cities don't ask for a payment. In response to a FOX 9 records request this summer, Minneapolis city officials said they had no record of invoices sent to either Trump's campaign or Democrat Hillary Clinton's campaign for events held within the city in 2016.
Minneapolis requested a much smaller reimbursement -- a reported $20,000 -- after President Barack Obama held a health care-themed rally at Target Center in 2009. Frey said there were more "significant expenses" associated with Trump's speech than Obama's event.
In an emailed statement late Tuesday afternoon, Frey left the door open to going after Target Center's operator, AEG, for repayment for Thursday's rally.
“In keeping with our contract with AEG, taxpayers should be reimbursed for city-incurred costs resulting from the president’s visit. In the days ahead, I will be meeting with city leadership and my council colleagues to decide upon the appropriate path forward," the mayor said.
Trump's rally is scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday. It will be his first rally since House Democrats launched an impeachment investigation against him last month, for asking Ukraine to investigate political rival Joe Biden.
A whistleblower said Trump's aides tried to "lock down" the rough transcript of a phone call Trump had with Ukraine's president, and text messages between administration officials indicate that Trump was seeking the investigation of Biden in exchange for an official visit by Ukraine's president to the White House.
Trump lost Minnesota to Clinton by 1.5 percentage points in 2016. He has made clear that he wants to win the state in 2020.
Mayor Frey released the following statement Tuesday afternoon:
“My position with respect to the operating costs remains unchanged: in keeping with our contract with AEG, taxpayers should be reimbursed for city-incurred costs resulting from the president’s visit. In the days ahead, I will be meeting with city leadership and my council colleagues to decide upon the appropriate path forward.”
The rally is scheduled to take place at the Target Center at 7 p.m. on Thursday. Anti-Trump activists have planned a protest outside the Target Center prior to the president’s visit.
The Minneapolis Police Department said it will have a "highly visible and robust" police presence downtown to handle the larger than normal crowds that are expected for the events.