Trump's Phoenix rally to cost taxpayers $450G

President Donald Trump's rally in Phoenix in August drew a lot of national media attention to the Arizona capital. It also cost the city more than $450,000 in employee overtime.

The bulk of the expenses came from the police department, which deployed hundreds of officers as Trump delivered his speech at the Phoenix Convention Center, the Arizona Republic reported.

Besides the $336,887 cost to the police department, the fire department ran up a $60,483 bill, along with nearly a $50,000 expense for street transportation. Both public works and water services expenses were over $2,500.

Trump’s campaign footed the bill for the convention center, as well as the security inside, which totaled around $50,000, the Republic reported.

As for the rest of the expenses, regardless of whether it’s Trump or some other candidate, the responsibility falls on the city, City Manager Ed Zuercher told the Arizona Republic in August.

And, it would not be right to charge the Trump administration for the extra costs associated with responding to the protests that erupted throughout Trump’s rally, Zuercher added.

"You can't dampen free speech by telling people they have to pay for free speech," Zuercher said.

But Arizona Democratic Party spokesman Enrique Gutierrez argued that Trump ought to pick up the tab.

“This shouldn't be something that the city of Phoenix should pay for,” Gutierrez told the Republic.

The city has not asked to be reimbursed, nor has the White House offered, city spokeswoman Julie Watters told the Republic in an email, adding that the city’s “obligation was to keep all members of the community safe."

Trump has been scrutinized for other expenses that have been left to taxpayers, such as for trips to his golf clubs at Mar-a-Lago in Florida and in Bedminster, N.J., and for security at Trump Tower in New York City.

This spring, Trump took seven weekend getaways to his Florida resort, costing the Coast Guard more than 6.6 million in protection, the Washington Post reported.   

In New York City, officials estimate Trump Tower costs between $127,000 and $146,000 daily to protect, and cost nearly $24 million on Election Day and inauguration day, Reuters reported.

In a bipartisan agreement, Congress allocated more than $120 in funding to protect Trump and his family, the New York Times reported.

During the Obama administration, Trump was a staunch critic of President Barack Obama's travel and spending habits – which totaled nearly $100 million, according to Judicial Watch.

But one pundit argued Trump is the most costly president yet.

“No president in history has imposed larger personal lifestyle costs on the taxpayer than Donald Trump,” the Atlantic magazine’s senior editor, David Frump, tweeted Aug. 21.

And although data suggest Trump is on pace to surpass Obama in travel and security costs left to taxpayers, fact-checking website PolitiFact argues it’s still “too early to call.”