Friday, 23 June, 2017

Trump to meet Australian PM on 1st presidential trip to NYC

Craig Ferguson | 04 May, 2017, 23:54

Donald Trump returns to NY on Thursday for the first time as president, where protests and a massive security operation will provide a backdrop to his talks with the Australian prime minister.

The president's wife, Melania Trump, and his son, Barron, have been living in NY since he took office.

While his boisterous ventures eventually begat his presidential campaign and all of it was centered around NY, the people who make up NY haven't always loved Trump back.

Protests against Trump have regularly broken out in NY since he was elected and have included activists concerned about the president's policies on health care, climate change, immigration and women's rights. VOA reporter Tina Trinh has more.

Hundreds of police will be dispatched and barricades and road blocks will be set up on streets near the Intrepid, which has become a popular museum. The events beginning earlier in the day are planning to march south to join this one, and will do so even after it was announced that Trump won't be spending the night in his gilded tower, but instead at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey.

The NYPD said in a statement to expect "temporary" closures near the Intrepid and Trump Tower, but declined to be specific. He criticized the president for turning his back on his hometown.

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"Part of the reason that the president has not come back is because he knows that New Yorkers are united against his policies", said Steven Choi, executive director of the New York Immigration Coalition, which is organizing a protest in front of Trump Tower. The two plan to stay in the city until Barron finishes the school year. "I had so many things going", Trump said in an interview with Reuters last month.

But Mayor Bill de Blasio this week welcomed $61 million of funding set aside in the federal budget for NY and law enforcement in other localities to protect Trump and his family.

"I'm sure we'll get on very well", Turnbull said of meeting Trump.

"I had hoped the divisive rhetoric would end. It does not suggest common ground". According to police officials, the department spends up to $146,000 a day to protect the first lady and their son while Trump is away, and anticipate the cost to jump to more than $300,000 when he's there.

"It was a new administration, briefings were coming from across the administration and there was a moment when the president expressed less than admiration for an agreement that the previous administration has entered into". He and his friends, without their parents' approval, would ride the subway into Manhattan and marvel at the circus-like atmosphere that seemed to teem from Times Square and other areas in NY, friends say.

Associated Press writer Colleen Long contributed reporting.

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