New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said he is skeptical that the federal government would cover the cost of trying Sept. 11 suspects in Manhattan, a day after President Barack Obama said he had not ruled out holding the trial in New York.
Bloomberg said Monday that he wants the Obama administration to guarantee it will help pay for the added security and other infrastructure the city would have to provide for the trial of professed Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four alleged accomplices.
The mayor said he is skeptical "because a lot of times the federal government promises to pay and then the monies don't come."
"So, I'd like some assurance because the taxpayers in New York City are certainly strapped," he said.
A Justice Department spokesman declined to comment.
City officials have estimated the cost of holding the trial in a lower Manhattan courthouse at $200 million a year but have not provided details about the expenses that add up to that figure.
Bloomberg recently declared he did not want the trial in New York City, after initially supporting the idea last year. He now says it would be expensive and too disruptive to workers and residents of lower Manhattan.
The president said Sunday he has not eliminated the possibility of holding the trial in New York City, despite the opposition from Bloomberg and others.
"I have not ruled it out, but I think it's important for us to take into account the practical, logistical issues involved," Obama told CBS News. "I mean, if you have a city that is saying no, and a police department that is saying no, and a mayor that is saying no; that makes it difficult."