UPDATED, 8:24 AM: President Donald Trump is wrapping his quick Los Angeles visit this morning with a ride from downtown to Dodger Stadium, where a helicopter will fly him to LAX for his departure on Air Force One.
Trump, who arrived in California yesterday for his first trip since becoming President, will have spent less than 24 hours in the state when he goes wheels up around 9:10 AM PT, headed for St. Louis to participate in a roundtable discussion on tax cuts and tax reform. While in Southern California he inspected border wall prototypes in San Diego and attended a GOP fundraiser in Beverly Hills, amid several protests in the two cities.
The White House said Trump will leave his hotel, the Intercontinental Los Angeles Downtown, at 8:30 AM for Dodger Stadium. The LAPD has blocked off a wide swath of streets on the route and warned that closures will last until 1 PM PT today.
PREVIOUS, Wednesday PM: Donald Trump’s first trip to California since being elected president has been shrouded in secrecy — at least the Los Angeles portion of it. But commuters this morning, especially downtown, got a glimpse of it firsthand, with traffic snarled thanks to planned road closures and detours ahead of his arrival this afternoon.
The Los Angeles Police Department put out this amended traffic advisory this afternoon:
“Per the Department of Transportation and the Los Angeles Police Department, downtown Los Angeles is extremely congested due to the Presidential visit. If possible, please avoid the area bounded by 5th Street on the north, Olympic Boulevard on the south, Union Avenue on the west and Grand Avenue on the east.”
At least two protests and rallies planned at different locations today, with organizers making their plans based on expectations of where and when Trump will pass by. The first is an “Unwelcome Rally” at Santa Monica Airport, where Trump’s helicopter Marine One landed at 3:53 PM. Air Force One landed at LAX at 3:32 PM.
A larger “Trump Not Welcome in L.A.” rally is being planned for Beverly Gardens Park, possibly on Trump’s drive-by route. The protest’s Facebook page currently lists the start time as 5 PM, though the president’s plans remain so unpublicized that the rally’s start time has been modified on the page throughout the day.
Both rallies are being organized on Facebook and other social media under a coalition of activist groups including California for Progress, Drain the N.R.A., La Raza Unida, Black Lives Matter Los Angeles and others. Separate protests could spring up as Trump’s itinerary becomes clearer.
Air Force One landed today at 11:23 AM local time at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego to kick off the visit. The LAPD’s street-closure plan is tight downtown, especially near the Wilshire Grand Hotel, which told tenants and guests today that a high-security VIP was expected at the hotel, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The LAPD said beginning at 1 PM PT it will close Figueroa Street between 6th and 8th streets; Wilshire Boulevard between Flower Street and Beaudry Avenue; and 7th Street between Flower and Bixel streets — all near the hotel.
The White House has released few details about the L.A. portion of the trip — even the LAPD had to send out a release yesterday saying it couldn’t say much. But Trump is scheduled to attend a GOP fundraiser later in the day at the Beverly Hills home of Shari and Edward Glazer, owner Tampa Bay Buccaneers,.
Pool reports are quoting aides saying they knew of no visits with elected officials while in California — a rarity when POTUS visits a state. California voted overwhelmingly for Democrat Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election, with Trump getting only 31.5% of the popular vote. The Trump administration and California officials repeatedly have clashed over immigration issues, and last week the Department of Justice even sued the state.
Trump is talking about sanctuary city policies during his visit to San Diego and inspecting border wall prototypes before heading to L.A.