MANHATTAN — President Donald Trump is slated to return to his Midtown home Monday, after he drew fire over the weekend for failing to explicitly condemn a white supremacist rally that resulted in the death of a counter protester in Charlottesville, Virginia.
On Monday morning, the president — who'd been expected to spend the day in the city — tweeted he would be returning to Washington, D.C. first. He is expected to arrive in Manhattan night.
Heading to Washington this morning. Much work to do. Focus on trade and military. #MAGA— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 14, 2017
His visit coincides with a slew of protests planned throughout New York City. Four protesters have organized demonstrations at Trump Tower at 725 Fifth Ave. for Monday night, while others plan to gather in Washington Heights' Bennett Park.
"We anticipate some demos, some in relation to what happened in Virginia. We’re set for that also," NYPD Assistant Chief Patrick Conry said Monday.
NYPD officials said Monday that they are heightening security around Trump Tower in preparation for the visit.
"While this is not his first visit back to New York City, it is the first time he’s staying at his residence in Trump Tower," NYPD Chief of Department Carlos Gomez said. "We’ve prepared accordingly. We’ve met with the Secret Service. We prepared a sizeable detail… to ensure the area around Trump Tower is safe and secure with minimal disruption to vehicular and pedestrian traffic."
Gomez recommended people avoid the area as gridlock will be heavy.
"We’ll also be instituting bus checkpoints at 7 p.m.," he said. "We’ll be boarding the buses, inspecting them, before they proceed down Fifth Avenue, as well as vehicle checkpoints starting at 7 p.m. They will be random. We’ll be checking inside the vehicle and the trunk before they’re allowed to proceed down Fifth."
Police closed the following streets at noon Monday:
• 58th Street between Fifth and Sixth avenues
• 56th Street between Madison and Sixth avenues
• 55th Street between Fifth and Madison avenues
There will be limited access to 56th Street between Sixth and Fifth avenues.
NYPD officials said they don't anticipate any change to the street closures.
It costs about $300,000 per day to protect Trump Tower when he's in town, the NYPD has estimated.
The president's visit comes after weekend protests around New York City by people angered that Trump didn't more strongly condemn the violence by white supremacists who rallied in Charlottesville on Saturday.
Three people were arrested for disorderly conduct at anti-Trump demonstrations in New York Sunday, Gomez said.
"Peace & Sanity" rally happening now at Grand Army Plaza. pic.twitter.com/IXyfSFPXmu— Rachel H. Smith (@rachelholliday) August 13, 2017
The weekend demonstrations in Charlottesville turned deadly when James Alex Fields drove into a counter protest and fatally struck Heather Heyer, according to reports.
Trump initially condemned violence "on many sides," which sparked the backlash against him, but West Wing officials then took a harsher tone and explicitly singled out "white supremacists, K.K.K. neo-Nazi and all extremist groups," The New York Times reported.