Former President Donald Trump, renowned for his financial acumen, is once again caught in the midst of a financial controversy. A recent report from Raw Story, dated Sunday, October 15, 2023, reveals that the Federal Election Commission (FEC) has raised concerns about Trump’s financial situation, despite his substantial campaign funds.
The FEC report for the period spanning from July 1 to Sept. 30 uncovers a startling list of unpaid creditors. Among them are several prominent media outlets, including the New York Times, Daily Caller, and ABC News. Surprisingly, these unpaid bills are attributed to reimbursements for the use of the press plane.
This revelation is particularly striking given Trump’s frequent criticisms of the media during his rallies. It appears that, despite public disparagement, he continues to foot the bill to ensure their presence. The financial saga doesn’t end with media-related debts. Trump also owes a substantial sum to the Secret Service, amounting to $330,401.62. This debt is reportedly linked to “air travel refunds,” as detailed in FEC reports. It’s not the first time Trump has faced disputes over unpaid security fees for law enforcement services.
In 2021, a clash with Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey ensued over unpaid security fees for a 2019 rally, where the Trump campaign was billed $530,000. Initially refusing to pay, the campaign even threatened to sue Mayor Frey, arguing that the U.S. Secret Service should cover security costs. However, this argument doesn’t align with standard campaign practices. The Secret Service is responsible for protecting the protectee, not event attendees, and federal taxpayer dollars are not typically allocated to fund security at political events, even for a protectee.
This pattern of evading security costs appears to be a recurring issue for Trump, with numerous unpaid bills lingering from his 2016 election campaign season. By the time of the Minneapolis dispute, the campaign had accumulated over $2 million in unpaid security costs and overtime for law enforcement officers they purported to support.
Additional cities, including Albuquerque, New Mexico, have sent unpaid invoices. As of the latest update, Trump’s campaign hadn’t settled its debts with several other cities, including Lebanon, Ohio, Mesa, Arizona, and Erie, Pennsylvania.
The trail of unpaid security expenses extends even further back, with cities like Green Bay and Eau Claire, Wisconsin; Tucson, Arizona; Burlington, Vermont; and Spokane, Washington, all left with unpaid bills from Trump’s 2016 campaign. This has placed a significant financial burden on these cities and their police departments, leading some to dip into emergency funds to cover security costs associated with Trump’s events.
A notable example is Ripon, Wisconsin, a city proudly known as the “birthplace of the Republican Party.” Ripon had to utilize its emergency fund to cover security expenses for a rally featuring Vice President Mike Pence on July 17, 2020, leaving the city with limited resources for unforeseen emergencies.