While President Donald Trump continues to tout himself as the 2020 presidential candidate supposedly most attuned to the needs of Americans and more specifically, the southern U.S. border, the facts tell a different story. Months after the Trump team held a rally in El Paso, Texas, they have yet to pay the about $470,000 that they owe the city for services they provided to support the event. The same night, former Texas Congressman turned Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke held a counter-rally, and although the bill was much smaller at only about $21,000, his camp has paid up.
Despite a May 23 letter sent to Trump campaign HQ in New York requesting they pay up, as of Tuesday morning, the Trump campaign has not revealed when or even if it plans to repay El Paso, which provided security and transportation. City official Alexsandra Annello shared of the Trump situation:
‘It shows a lack of concern for the community and the tax paying voters of El Paso. President Trump has in many ways, over the last year, put a financial burden on this community and has yet to show us the respect we deserve. It is clear that our borderland is not a priority of the president.’
Trump has, of course, claimed otherwise. He even mentioned El Paso in his State of the Union address this year, claiming them to have experienced a significant security boost with the introduction of physical barriers along the area’s southern U.S. border. The problem is that Trump’s assessment of the situation is a lie, and as city leaders have pointed out, both before and after the barriers, El Paso was one of the safest cities in the United States. No data actually supporting Trump’s notion of a dangerous southern border pops up at essentially any point. The Wilson Center has found that all but one border county has lower crime rates than comparable inland jurisdictions.
Trump is still pressing on with his false narrative about the supposedly desperately dangerous southern border, which he intends to address through lots and lots of wall. That El Paso rally Trump held in February served as a chance for him to stump for his wall, which at the time, he’d just temporarily given up on getting funding from Congress for. After refusing for over a month including the beginning of this year to approve any further government funding without the money for the wall, Trump eventually caved and reopened the government without Congress funding his wall.
Ironically, as Trump presses on down this path leaving the financial needs of a major American city in the dust, it’s not as though his campaign is struggling financially. They outraised every other presidential campaign in the first quarter of 2019, finishing with about $30 million in new donations and a total of about $41 million in the bank.
Penalties for Trump continuing to refuse to pay his debt to El Paso could include the city refusing to host him for any further events until it’s paid and fines that could put the total debt at over $500,000 if they don’t pay within thirty days of that May 23 notice.
Featured Image via screenshot