New York

De Blasio Asks Obama For $35 Million To Protect Billionaire President-Elect’s Skyscraper

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Mayor Bill de Blasio will send a letter to President Obama today requesting that the federal government reimburse the NYPD for at least $35 million in expenses relating to the security around Trump Tower, where president-elect Donald Trump has been in residence appointing a cabinet and holding meetings over the last month.

“When you look at the history of how the federal government has handled a number of other situations where the NYPD has provided extraordinary efforts such as the papal visit last year, there’s a pretty good track record on reimbursement, but we’ve got a lot of work to do,” said de Blasio in a press conference at the 1st Precinct on Monday morning.

The $35 million will cover security around Trump tower from November 8th until January 20th, when the new administration will be responsible for determining a proper reimbursement.

This reimbursement amount estimated by the de Blasio administration breaks down to roughly half the number cited in earlier reports that put the NYPD’s security detail at a million dollars a day.

De Blasio has been in contact with both the Obama administration and members of Congress to discuss the need for a reimbursement, and has even reached out to Trump’s treasury appointee Steve Mnuchin to talk about what arrangements will be made after January 20th. Trump has signaled an interest in spending as much time in his penthouse apartment as possible while acting as president.

“[Mnuchin] understood there was a real conversation to be had on reimbursement decisions,” de Blasio said. “He is a native New Yorker, so that’s a helpful reality. This is the time now to lean in to nailing down the reimbursement.”

As for whether de Blasio would rather Trump continue to hold meetings at Trump Tower, or instead hold them at one of his other, less centrally located residences, de Blasio said that “he’s the president-elect of the United States. I didn’t vote for him, I don’t agree with him, but he has to do what he considers to be in the best interest of this nation. Obviously, if it’s a jump ball? Go to that beautiful golf course in New Jersey. But we have to respect his decision on the setting.”

On Sunday night, a woman was able to sneak into Trump Tower and made it all the way to the 24th floor before being stopped by police, according to DNAInfo. The NYPD has set up a security perimeter around the tower and provided 24/7 security since election day. Mayor de Blasio has pledged that he will keep Fifth Avenue open to traffic until at least Trump’s inauguration in January.