Campaign manager Brad Parscale said late Oct. 8 that the company had backed down.
“The arena in Minneapolis has been fully approved. The Target Center has backed off canceling the contract, which means President Trump’s Keep America Great rally will go on as scheduled. Consistent with our original agreement with the venue, the Trump campaign has not agreed to pay any additional funds. We look forward to seeing everyone Thursday night,” he said in a statement.
The Target Center is owned by the city of Minneapolis and operated by AEG, a company that was trying to get the campaign to pay $530,000, according to the campaign, which accused Mayor Jacob Frey of “abusing the power of his office and attempting to extort President Trump’s reelection campaign by conjuring a phony and outlandish bill for security in an effort to block a scheduled Keep America Great rally.”
The city gave AEG the estimated associated costs for security and other issues and the company was trying to pass the costs onto the campaign, the campaign said, calling it a violation of the contract it signed with AEG.
The arena in Minneapolis is fully approved. Looking forward to seeing you Thursday. It is going to be huge! pic.twitter.com/7fjF41gyoD
— Brad Parscale (@parscale) October 8, 2019
Frey defended the estimated costs at a press conference earlier on Tuesday, dismissing the comparison the Trump campaign made between a 2009 event featuring President Barack Obama—which was estimated to cost around $20,000—and the upcoming rally.
Obama was coming “on behalf of the office as president of the United States, not as a campaign event,” Frey said. “President Trump is coming to Minneapolis as a campaign rally.”
“It’s not extortion to expect that somebody should pay their bills even if somebody really doesn’t want to pay their bills,” Frey said.
He said that the city had provided a $540,000 estimate, which included $400,000 in public safety costs, specifically overtime from the police, and an additional $140,000 for regulatory services and public works like street barriers.
Frey, a Democrat, signaled his opposition to Trump during the press conference and on Twitter this week.
We’ve seen this playbook before. Trying to drive a wedge between Minneapolis and Greater Minnesota didn’t work in 2018 and — with your help — it won’t work in 2020. https://t.co/LtJv24PwpX
— Jacob Frey (@Jacob_Frey) October 7, 2019
He shared a message on the social media platform from Minnesota’s Democratic-Farmer-Labor (DFL) Party, which urged supporters to donate because of fears Trump will flip Minnesota red in 2020.
Trump has repeatedly said he will win Minnesota in the next election after losing by 1.5 percent in 2016.
“Trump almost winning Minnesota was not a fluke. Minnesota, one of the last bastions of progressivism in the Midwest, has been trending more and more red in the last few presidential elections,” the DFL said in one post in a thread about Trump visiting the state.
After saying the Trump campaign is hiring so many staffers in Minnesota that “we just can’t keep up,” the party added, “Here’s the bottom line: There is no path to a Democratic victory in the presidential race without Minnesota in the blue column.”