President forced to make a quick getaway after his first visit home since winning the White House
It was a case of so near and yet so far. Donald Trump returned to New York on Thursday night for the first time since his inauguration, yet the closest he could get to his home in Trump Tower was 10 blocks away as the city that made his fortune greeted him with noisy protest..
The president bypassed his Fifth Avenue penthouse, where First Lady Melania and youngest son Barron still live, bound for the USS Intrepid, a decommissioned aircraft carrier on the Hudson river, where he attended a gala to mark the 75th anniversary of a major second world war naval battle.
To heighten the bitter-sweetness of his homecoming, hundreds of protesters gathered blocks away from the vessel clattering pots and pans, chanting Shame, shame, shame and bearing posters proclaiming: Impeach the Freak.
Trump returned to New York buoyed by what he called the unbelievable victory earlier in the day in the House of Representatives of the bill to dismantle Barack Obamas Affordable Care Act. In spite of the Republican majority in the House, the struggle to get the measure through was so immense that it delayed the presidents arrival, with unfortunate consequences for his guest of honour, the Australian prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull.
On Thursday afternoon Trump made a phone call to Turnbull, who had flown with his wife Lucy 10,000 miles for the privilege, to say that he would be three hours late and would not be able to keep their 4pm midtown one-to-one appointment.