The past five years brought unprecedented reporting on what seemed to be transparent corruption within the Trump organization and administration. Much of the clearly dubious handling of money came out of Donald Trump’s campaign apparatus. Up until the end, Trump’s campaign was run like a traveling con job, and any and all fundraising done in service of his candidacy was used to pay off everything but campaign costs. The Trump administration, like the Trump organization of the past 40+ years, tried to leave citizens holding the bag at every turn. One of the main gripes that states and localities had with Trump’s never-ending campaign was his propensity to leave the costs of enormous security bills on the shoulders of local taxpayers.
One city that has waited more than 19 months for the Trump campaign to pay its debt is Albuquerque, New Mexico. KOB4 reports that Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller sent a $200,000 bill to a collection agency in the hopes of receiving money he says the Trump campaign owes the city. "We actually treated it like any other debt, and so it goes through a somewhat process where you send a bunch of letters out. We got no response from those letters. And then automatically, it does go to an agency that helps try and collect debts, and so that's those annoying phone calls you get that say, you know, you owe money to so-and-so—like now, Trump is getting those."
The Albuquerque mayor is not the first public official to make a statement concerning Trump’s campaign rallies, their costs, and his tendency to leave large bills for state and city budgets to reconcile themselves. The strangely coifed conman got bent out of shape while still in office when Minneapolis, Minnesota, Mayor Jacob Frey sent the Trump campaign a preemptive $500,000 estimated security bill back in October 2019.
Back in November, Newsweek reported that the loser campaign owed at least $850,000 to various local agencies for the costs of his rallies. The City of El Paso, Texas, which says the twice-impeached president owes $500,000, hired outside legal counsel in November 2020 to help with the collection of that debt. El Paso officials say that debt has been outstanding since February 2019.
The Trump campaign began making sure it could plead poverty right after Trump lost on Nov. 6. According to reports, while Trump and friends fundraised off of his attempts to overturn the election results, campaign money was quickly moved into a variety of Trump businesses and Trump-connected businesses. Besides enriching oneself, it is also a good way to stiff other people waiting for payment.
Republicans like Gov. Kristi Noem of South Dakota have been mum on Donald Trump’s corruption not simply because they’ve found it politically advantageous to side with Trump, but because they, too, have benefited from the same campaign financing corruptions.
When the news outlet reached out for a comment, the Trump campaign emailed KOB 4 that it was “reviewing your request.”