NEW YORK: Donald Trump returns to New York 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 Republican commander-in-chief, who spent his entire life in New York before moving to Washington on the eve of his inauguration, is expected to spend just hours in the largely Democratic city, where his policies are deeply controversial.
He will meet Australia’s Malcolm Turnbull on board a decommissioned World War II-era aircraft carrier — now the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum berthed on the Hudson River on the West Side of Manhattan.
Trump and Turnbull are set to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Battle of the Coral Sea by US and Australian forces against the Japanese in the leaders’ first encounter since a tetchy phone call rattled ties in late January.
But international diplomacy and imagery aside, New Yorkers are less than thrilled about the return of a president to a city with a Democratic mayor and a state with a Democratic governor.
Around 80 percent of the city’s electorate voted for his opponent Hillary Clinton, and the massive police presence — and cost — of securing his Trump Tower home and headquarters in the wake of the election were deeply unpopular.
His policies to restrict immigration, the administration’s rollback of federal protections for transgender students and its assault on Obamacare are all widely unwelcome in America’s most populous, and one of its most liberal, cities. (APP)