President Trump on Tuesday called for Minneapolis voters to “dump” Mayor Jacob Frey, whom he accused to trying to stifle his First Amendment rights by charging a $530,000 fee to use a city arena for a campaign rally.
The president also complained in a series of tweets about the city’s decision to ban off-duty police officers from wearing their uniforms to the Thursday event.
“Someone please tell the Radical Left Mayor of Minneapolis that he can’t price out Free Speech. Probably illegal! I stand strongly & proudly with the great Police Officers and Law Enforcement of Minneapolis and the Great State of Minnesota! See you Thursday Night!” the commander-in-chief tweeted.
City officials told the Target Center, where the rally is scheduled, that it would be responsible for paying the costs.
The center then tried to pass the bill on to Team Trump and told them they would not be able to use the arena unless they agreed to the $530,000 charges, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.
Trump’s campaign threatened to sue, and the president lashed out on Twitter, writing that the “lightweight mayor is hurting the great police and other wonderful supporters. 72,000 ticket requests already. Dump Frey and [Minnesota Rep. Ilhan] Omar! Make America Great Again!”
The president gave a shout-out to the police department’s union boss, who has also criticized Frey.
“Thank you to Lt. Bob Kroll of the great Minneapolis Police Department for your kind words on @foxandfriends,” Trump added, referring to the president of the Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis, who told the program that Frey was discriminating against Trump ahead of his upcoming MAGA rally.
“It’s disparate treatment. They have not charged nearly that much for other events,” said Kroll.
Instead of their uniforms, many cops planned to wear bright red T-shirts with a “Cops for Trump” logo expressing their support for the president, a move he applauded.
“The Police are fighting the Radical Left Mayor, and his ridiculous Uniform Ban. Actually, I LOVE the Cops for Trump shirts. Want to bring some home. I am with you 100%!!!!” the president continued on Twitter.
Frey, who was elected in 2017 with 57.2 percent of the vote, took Trump’s tweets in stride.
“Yawn… Welcome to Minneapolis where we pay our bills, we govern with integrity, and we love all of our neighbors,” Frey tweeted.
Omar, a frequent target of the president’s ire, was elected in the 2018 midterms with 78 percent of the vote.
The $530,000 figure dwarfs the costs incurred by another Minnesota city for a 2018 rally.
Last October’s event cost the city of Rochester $76,138, with the campaign paying $26,215 to hold the rally at the Mayo Civic Center, Fox News reported.