Hours before the president is scheduled to arrive in Midtown, a 15-foot inflatable "Trump Rat" has been erected two blocks from his Trump Tower residence.
Reminiscent of the inflatable rats often placed outside New York City worksites accused of union-busting, the inflatable features Donald Trump's likeness characterized with a long tail, buck teeth, a Russian flag lapel, and Confederate flag cufflinks. Erected shortly after 12:30 p.m. Monday, it immediately began drawing crowds of selfie-snapping tourists and office workers out for lunch.
Karin Bravin, who installed the piece with her husband John Lee, said a representative from the police department helped them place Trump Rat on the sidewalk. She also noted that the inflatable company they commissioned "had a good time with it."
Bravin and Lee, who run a Chelsea gallery called BravinLee programs, said that while Scabby the Union Rat was their inspiration for the project, the message they're trying to convey isn't necessarily political.
"Political discussion is one for me where people trade ideas about what the actual policies are, on the issues, I don’t think thats what we’re going here," Lee said.
"We want to ridicule this very thin-skinned, very incompetent guy who has no business being President of the United States."
Mo Gelber, a Crown Heights resident passing by the Trump Rat, said it was "great."
"[The president] is supposed to come to New York today, he’s probably gonna have to drive past it and see it and know that people don’t like all the things that he represents," Gelber said. "It sends a good message."