Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey (D) is the latest target of President Donald Trump’s Twitter rage ― and the mayor’s response suggests that he’s rather tired of it all.
“Yawn...” Frey began in a tweet reply Tuesday, after the president’s reelection campaign accused him of “abusing his power” and attempting to “extort” the campaign by “conjuring a phony and outlandish bill for security in an effort to block a scheduled Keep America Great rally” in Minneapolis. The president chimed in by calling the mayor a “lightweight.”
“Welcome to Minneapolis where we pay our bills, we govern with integrity, and we love all of our neighbors,” the mayor politely clapped back.
Yawn... Welcome to Minneapolis where we pay our bills, we govern with integrity, and we love all of our neighbors. https://t.co/v1cXvoD9uR— Jacob Frey (@Jacob_Frey) October 8, 2019
The Trump campaign called Frey a “radical leftist mayor” and accused him of conjuring up excessive security charges to pressure the Target Center, the site of Thursday’s planned rally, into effectively trampling on Minnesota residents’ First Amendment rights to gather and yell in support of the president.
“Frey’s city government preemptively informed the Target Center that it would be responsible for $530,000 in security and other costs related to the event. The Target Center attempted to pass the costs on to the Trump campaign under threat of withholding the use of the arena,” the statement said.
After another tweet from Trump about how he stands “strongly & proudly” with “great Police Officers,” Frey told the president that the charges were necessary to pay those officers for their extra labor ― and that Trump could afford it:
Someone tell the President of the United States that he can afford to help pay for the extra time our officers will be putting in while he’s in town. https://t.co/bXITaPdW4E— Jacob Frey (@Jacob_Frey) October 8, 2019
In a press conference later that day, Frey told reporters that he woke up to a “surprise” that morning when he discovered the president was tweeting about his city and him.
“I wake up every single morning with not a lot of time on my hands because I’m doing things like filling potholes and making sure our city has enough affordable housing,” the mayor said.
“I don’t have time with a city of 430,000 people to be tweeting garbage out, so it’s kind of surprising when the president of the United States, a country with 327 million people, has the time to do this himself, so I don’t know where the guy gets the time,” he added.
Mpls mayor @Jacob_Frey on Trump's Twitter attacks: "I'm doing things like filling potholes & making sure our city has enough affordable housing ... I don't have time to be tweeting garbage out, so it's kinda surprising when POTUS has the time to do this himself." pic.twitter.com/Hn1NpoWYMV— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) October 8, 2019
Frey also fired back at the Trump campaign’s accusation that security for an Obama rally at the same venue in 2009 cost significantly less.
“There are significant expenses associated with a campaign rally from Donald Trump,” he said. By contrast, the Obama event focused on health care policy, he said. It was not an election rally.
According to the mayor, the security costs for the Trump event were calculated by a standard methodology used to estimate costs of previous major events like the 2018 Super Bowl and Final Four, the Star Tribune reported. The public safety expenses were expected to be around $400,000 and the remainder would be the result of lane closures, traffic control and various other costs.
Should the rally go ahead ― and the campaign has said it will ― this won’t be the first time the Trump campaign has caused fiscal concerns for local officials. The campaign has an outstanding bill for more than $470,000 from a February rally in El Paso, Texas.
Nine other cities across the country have complained that they were not reimbursed for services provided by local police and fire departments, totaling more than $840,000, according to a study by the Center for Public Integrity.
El Paso confirmed to ABC News on Tuesday that its bill was still outstanding. Minneapolis seems to have taken note, as an El Paso spokesperson said Minneapolis officials had reached out to them regarding the bill.