President Donald Trump will return to New York City on Thursday for the first time since his inauguration — but he’s not expected to stay long in the city where opposition to him runs deep.
For months anti-Trump protesters have planned demonstrations in anticipation of his return trip, but unlike the president’s weekend trips to his private Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, his New York homecoming is slated to be short-lived. A flight restriction advisory issued by the Federal Aviation Administration on Tuesday indicates that Trump will likely be headed this weekend to Bedminster, New Jersey, home of the Trump National Golf Course.
Trump’s plan to go some 50 miles away from Manhattan after a meeting with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull comes as protesters vow to take to the streets, and as city officials continue to push back legislatively and in the courts against the president’s agenda.
“He knows that being in New York means unending protests anytime he’s here, and he doesn’t want to be a part of that,” said Joe Dinkin, spokesman for the Working Families Party, a liberal-leaning political group that is among the more than a dozen other activist groups organizing a protest near the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum on Manhattan’s West Side, where Trump is scheduled to meet with Turnbull.
In an interview with Fox News Friday, Trump said he had not returned to Trump Tower, where his wife, Melania, and son Barron continue to live until the 11-year-old finishes the school year, because of the security costs involved and because he feels “guilty” about the resulting street closures in midtown.
“Going back is very expensive for the country,” Trump said. “I hate to see the New Yorkers with streets closed.”
Despite months of railing against Trump at news conferences and from church pulpits, elected officials in the heavily Democratic city have mostly shrugged off his return trip.
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, when asked about Trump’s homecoming on Wednesday, suggested Washington, D.C., is the Queens-born President’s “hometown now.”
Mayor Bill de Blasio has not issued any public statements, and his office did not respond to an inquiry about his plans for Trump’s visit.
Trump’s meeting with Turnbull will be their first face-to-face encounter since Trump in January allegedly scolded Turnbull over a refugee resettlement deal that Australia, a longtime ally, had reached with the Obama administration.
Turnbull told Australian reporters on Wednesday that reports of the call “were pretty exaggerated.”
“I’m sure we’ll get on very well,” Turnbull said.
Trump also will deliver remarks aboard the Intrepid at a ceremony commemorating the 75th anniversary of the Battle of the Coral Sea — a World War II naval battle fought by U.S. and Australian forces against Japanese forces.