Organisers had dubbed it the Mother of all Rallies and hoped to bring out thousands to pack the National Mall in Washington in support of US President Donald Trump.

In the end, hundreds of flag-waving demonstrators did their best to make some noise in support of the President, who skipped town to his New Jersey golf club for the weekend.

The pro-Trump rally yesterday was part of a day of diverse political demonstrations in the nation's capital that highlighted the stark political divisions in the US. It was preceded by a small anti-Trump protest near the White House, where about two dozen people demanded tougher action against Russian President Vladimir Putin in retaliation for Moscow's interference in the 2016 US election. Wearing T-shirts that read, "We're not PUTIN up with this anymore," the demonstrators staged a brief rally before marching to the nearby home of the Russian ambassador.

While the pro-Trump demonstrators clearly outnumbered the anti-Trump contingent, both sides were dwarfed by the juggalos, as supporters of the rap group Insane Clown Posse are known. In front of the Lincoln Memorial, about 1500 juggalos staged an all-day rally and concert to protest what they say is class-based discrimination by law enforcement.

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Organisers of the pro-Trump demonstration had urged people to attend by saying: "If you stand for patriotism and freedom, this rally is for you!" Far fewer people turned out than the organisers expected. Washington is an overwhelmingly Democratic town.

- AP