Trump Tower in Manhattan turned into ‘fortress’ for security

NEW YORK — Trump Tower in Manhattan, home to President-elect Donald Trump and a fixture of American politics for the last 18 months, has become a de facto “fortress” as security measures go into place for the incoming president.

As Trump’s top aides and leaders of the transition team headed to the new executive’s New York headquarters Friday, they were met by jersey barriers and concrete blocks set up by police. And a large police presence was established on the block surrounding Trump Tower, limiting public access.

Securing Trump Tower, in the heart of Manhattan, has become a challenge for New York police and the Secret Service.

The entrance to Trump Tower — which sits near heavily trafficked luxury shops, including Tiffany & Co. and Gucci — has become a special challenge.

New York City zoning rules require that the space in front of Trump Tower remain open to the public, and Secret Service officials say they have told city officials they are trying to be mindful of any impact on business.

Secret Service officials have raised the possibility of shutting down some lanes on Fifth Avenue — or even shutting down the major thoroughfare entirely — in talks with city law enforcement.

Flight restrictions were put in place the moment Trump was declared the winner. Those restrictions apply to personal and general aircraft but not commercial flights.

The press pool covering Trump was originally forced to wait across the street from the tower, though after clarifying with the New York Police Department, the media was allowed into the building’s atrium Friday.

The moves are routine for the next President of the United States, but they have coincided with heavy protests outside Trump’s New York headquarters and other, massive protests, in cities across the country.

The fortifying of the President-elect’s home is nothing new — eight years ago, President Barack Obama’s daily routine in Chicago was turned on its head after he was elected, with Secret Service even stepping in when he attempted to get a haircut at his favorite barbershop.

Former President Bill Clinton’s personal habits, which became a headache for the Secret Service, were famously parodied by Phil Hartman on Saturday Night Live two decades ago.