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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

New York City seeks $35 million U.S. reimbursement to protect Trump Tower

Heavily armed police officers stand guard in the rain outside Trump Tower in New York. (Mary Altaffer / Associated Press)
By Henry Goldman Bloomberg

New York City will ask the federal government for $35 million to cover the expense of securing Trump Tower, President-elect Donald Trump’s Manhattan residence and business headquarters, for the period between his election and inauguration.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said he’s spoken with Steven Mnuchin, a New Yorker who’s Trump’s choice for Treasury secretary, about the city’s ongoing costs guarding the brass-fronted building on Fifth Avenue between 56th and 57th Streets.

The police department has been discussing permanent security measures with the Secret Service, said Commissioner James O’Neill, who joined de Blasio Monday at a news conference at a lower Manhattan police precinct.

City Sanitation Department trucks have been used to line the Trump Tower curb, clogging traffic on Fifth Avenue near 57th Street as the Secret Service and heavily-armed police try to secure the building since Trump became the Republican nominee in July. It’s intensified since he was elected, with unmarked cars and plainclothes officers.

The city is seeking reimbursement for providing security from Nov. 8 until Trump is sworn in on Jan. 20, as well as coverage of ongoing costs for protecting the tower during his administration. The building is being used as the center of Trump’s transition effort as he interviews candidates for his administration.

“This is truly unusual; it’s the first time we’ve had NYPD providing such a crucial role providing security for a president-elect,” said de Blasio, a Democrat. “I remain hopeful because when you see other instances when New York City provided security we got good reimbursement.”

O’Neill called the intersection at 57th Street and Fifth Avenue “one of the busiest in the city,” and the security operation has constricted traffic during the holiday season in a year when the city expects a record of 60 million tourists, of whom many visited the avenue’s world-famous shops.

“There are things we can control and things we can’t,” de Blasio said. “It’s a little bit like the serenity prayer.”