Austin, Texas — According to a bombshell report released by the Texas Tribune, the city of El Paso is facing a budget shortfall due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, the Trump campaign still owes the city more than $500,000 for a rally Trump hosted in February 2019.
“Throughout November, President Trump’s re-election campaign has aggressively solicited donations to support its widely debunked claims of a rigged presidential election. Here in Texas, the president’s team still owes the city of El Paso a 2-year-old debt of more than half a million dollars.”
“In February 2019, Trump held a campaign rally at the El Paso County Coliseum that cost the city $470,000 in security and other related expenses. After that initial invoice went unpaid, city officials tacked on an additional $99,000 in late fees.”
“The city considered, and then decided against, suing the campaign earlier this year to recoup the funds. City Attorney Karla Nieman didn’t explain what led to that decision but said her office is still considering other ways to collect on the debt.”
“‘We’re on unprecedented territory by having to collect an outstanding invoice from a sitting president,’ she said in a statement. ‘We continue to explore various options.’”
“The Trump campaign did not respond when asked if or when the debt would be settled. El Paso is one of several Texas cities facing operating budget shortfalls because of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has disproportionately affected the border area.”
Texas Democratic Party Chair Gilberto Hinojosa issued a statement:
“As El Paso continues to struggle in the fight against the coronavirus crisis, it is clear Donald Trump still doesn’t give a damn about protecting Americans from the coronavirus or paying his debts. Instead of using taxpayers’ dollars to try to steal an election, Trump should spend his time and energy paying back the city of El Paso.”