Mayor Bill de Blasio has yet to be briefed by the White House on when President Donald Trump will visit his hometown, the mayor said Monday.
The uncertainty hangs over the de Blasio administration as it plans to again ask Congress for federal reimbursements toward the police department’s costly effort in keeping Trump Tower secured.
“We have not heard a communication of what (Trump’s) intentions are,” said de Blasio at a crime briefing. “We assume, based on past practice, that (regular Trump visits) would be definite. We don’t know yet though. You see he’s gone to Mar-a-Lago and, you know, other places … But we don’t have the facts yet about what his intentions are.”
It cost the city about $500,000 per day for the NYPD to secure Trump Tower while Trump was in town between Election Day and his inauguration, according to the mayor.
De Blasio in December had originally asked Congress to pony up $35 million to reimburse the city’s efforts between the two events. The administration later upped the price to $37 million. House Republicans responded by offering a fraction — $7 million — to cover the costs.
Now, with the president away from his Manhattan home, the price of securing Trump Tower is much lower, according to Police Commissioner James O’Neill.
“It (was) a tremendous amount of people, between Election Day and the day of the inauguration … When he’s not here we can take that number down a little bit, but cost is still significant,” O’Neill said. “Short-term, we can make adjustments, but, long term, we’re going to need reimbursement from the federal government.”
Without a clear idea of when Trump will be taking trips back, de Blasio said his administration is calculating the costs of policing around the tower, where Trump’s wife, Melania, and son, Barron, are still residing. He plans to bring a dollar figure to congress in April.
“We’re working right now to prepare an update to go and get more resources,” de Blasio said. “But, as the commissioner said, the situation has changed the minute the president left Trump Tower as a resident … That’s good for, obviously, the ability of people to get around in midtown and good in terms of the impact it’s having on PD.”