President Donald Trump on Monday said a consultant who paid for a trip to a California town where he met with a retired police officer, was paid a “consultancy fee” for the trip.
The New York Times reported the consultant, Daniel G. McBride, was a senior fellow at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, a Washington-based think tank that has pushed hard for the impeachment of Trump.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Trump, in an interview on NBC’s “Today” show, said McBride told him about his meeting with retired police officers in the town of Santa Ana in California’s central valley in late March.
McBride said he paid $25,000 for the “frequent flyer” ticket to the event, which was hosted by a Santa Ana police department.
He did not specify the cost of the trip, nor the date or place, according to the Times.
Trump has repeatedly attacked McBride for his role in his administration’s response to the San Bernardino, California, mass shooting.
Trump on Sunday criticized the Department of Justice for its failure to hold the shooter responsible for his actions.
“When you have somebody who’s a criminal, when you have a person who is a criminal who goes out and attacks a place of worship, a place that’s beautiful, I guess you can say I’m very frustrated with how our justice system is treating this,” Trump said.
“I have so many problems, it’s just ridiculous that I can’t even get anything done.
So I think it’s going to take a major change in Washington.”
The Santa Ana shooting killed 14 people and wounded 22 others.
Trump and other Republican leaders have said the attack was inspired by Islamic extremism.
The Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Department said Monday that McBride did not attend the event.
The sheriff’s department said McBriens daughter, Brittany McBride Goudreault, was present at the event and did not travel to the country.
A spokesperson for McBride could not be reached for comment late Monday.
The Times also reported that McBridens former law partner, David W. Smith, had received an $11,500 consulting fee from the Santa Ana Police Department and was listed as the consultant on a website for his company, The American Consultancy Group.
The newspaper reported that Smith was the first to report the payment to authorities.
A spokesman for McBrichers attorney told the newspaper that Smith is an “expert” on the Santa Cruz shooting.
He also told the Times that he had never received any money from Trump.