Saturday, 2 July 2022

Trump return to New York scaled back, protests muted

Protesters demonstrate near Trump Tower against U.S. President Donald Trump in the Manhattan borough of New York City, U.S.

NEW YORK: What had first appeared to be a return to his hometown that would include an afternoon visit to the penthouse apartment where he lived before the White House and a few hours of meetings and motorcades through midtown Manhattan ended up shrinking to a blink-and-you-miss-it stop at an aircraft carrier in the Hudson River. But a first visit back to New York is still a first visit, and hundreds of protesters responded to a day that was, for them, weighted with meaning far beyond what actually happened. President Trump, a New York City product whose identity is as woven into the place as the steel rebar in the buildings that bear his name, was, for the first time since taking office in January, back in town. The protests Thursday were muted in comparison to those of the throngs who had gathered outside Trump Tower on many nights after the election. Some attributed the lower turnout to the president’s change of schedule; others, to apathy, a loss of energy after Trump’s absence. Those who showed up outside the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum watched and shouted as the president’s motorcade passed and turned into the aircraft carrier complex. Trump was originally scheduled to spend a total of six hours at multiple stops in Manhattan, arriving around 3 p.m. and meeting Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull of Australia in the Peninsula Hotel on Fifth Avenue.

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