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Justin Schatz is The Paper's daily news reporter. He has reported on New Mexico for KRQE News, Searchlight NM and the Santa Fe Reporter.

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Mayor Tim Keller made an appearance on “The Daily Show” on April 19, where he was interviewed by Jordan Klepper for the special edition, “Into the MAGAverse.” The mayor talked about how Donald Trump stiffed the City of Albuquerque for roughly $200,000 and needs to pay up.

In the leadup to the 2020 election, Trump held a rally, or what Klepper described as a “traveling carnival” in Rio Rancho in 2019 that forced extra security measures to be taken by the city. The city was forced to shutdown downtown for almost 24 hours and invest in extra security for the former commander-in-chief. Keller believes that the costs were much higher than what the city is asking for. “In my mind he owes us a lot more because there was a day and a half where we couldn’t even function as a city,” Keller said. Keller added that the costs from the rally “were tremendous.” Albuquerque was also forced to close city hall and send everyone home during Trump’s time in New Mexico. 

To cover the cost of the exorbitant day-long excursion, Keller told Klepper “we have decided to bill the campaign for it, and we have yet to get paid.” Like so many other cities Albuquerque has yet to receive any word from the Trump camp regarding the bill. According to Newsweek, 14 cities have billed the Trump campaign for additional costs of security during his campaign to the tune of $1.82 million.

In an attempt to collect the $200k that Trump owes Albuquerque, the city has hired a collections agency to help out. “No phone calls have been returned, so we hired a collection agency,” Keller said. Unable to reach the Trump campaign, Keller jokingly said that “I think Mar-a-Lago is now getting those calls.” 

When asked how the city would use the $200k, Keller said the money would be used to help operate the city for services such as police force or fire, which would directly benefit from the money. Klepper then asked “Is it fair to say that Donald Trump has effectively defunded the police?” Since Trump has yet to pay the bill, Keller responded “by that definition you can say that.” Klepper told the mayor he should hire “Breaking Bad” actors to get the money back.

Check out the full Daily Show Special “Into the MAGAverse” here:

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