MINNEAPOLIS -- Tensions between Minneapolis city leaders and President Donald Trump's campaign escalated Monday when the campaign threatened to sue the city for trying to force it to pay $530,000 for security during this week's rally.
Trump's campaign team said in a news release late Monday night that Mayor Jacob Frey is "abusing the power of his office" by "conjuring a phony and outlandish bill for security" to cover those costs for Thursday's campaign rally.
City officials told the Target Center, which is managed by AEG, that it would be responsible for paying the costs. The center then allegedly tried to pass the bill on to Trump's team and told them they would not be able to use the arena unless they agreed to the charges.
"This is an outrageous abuse of power by a liberal mayor trying to deny the rights of his own city's residents just because he hates the President," Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale said in a statement. "People want to hear from their President, and no mayor looking to beef up his resume for a run for higher office should stand in the way."
Earlier Monday, Minneapolis city officials told the Star Tribune they were unsure how much money the city will have to spend for security and other services during Trump's campaign visit -- but they believed it was going to be expensive.
The Trump campaign said in the statement that if the city does not agree to honor the contract by 11 a.m. Tuesday that they would go to court.
"The Trump campaign informed the Target Center that the U.S. Secret Service is solely responsible for coordinating security and that withholding the use of the arena would be viewed as a breach of contract and result in court action," the statement said.
Trump's announcement in late September that he'd be coming to Minneapolis generated widespread criticism among Minneapolis-based activists. And Frey weighed in, saying he could not stop the visit but that Trump's "message of hatred will never be welcome in Minneapolis." He called Trump's actions "reprehensible."
The visit has been a lightning rod for the Minneapolis police as well. On Monday, the police union started selling "Cops for Trump" T-shirts, just days after the Police Department banned officers from wearing their uniforms in support of candidates at political events or in ads.
Lt. Bob Kroll, the head of the union, accused the Police Department last week of instituting its new policy just before Trump's visit. He said he was told about the ban Sept. 27, one day after Trump announced Thursday's rally at Target Center, and after Frey's statement that Trump was unwelcome in the city.