President Trump said Thursday he’s canceling his planned trip to Poland this weekend and instead will send Vice President Mike Pence so he can stay in the United States to monitor the strengthening Hurricane Dorian.
Speaking to reporters in the Rose Garden, the president said it’s “very important” for him to stay in Washington.
“Our highest priority is the safety and security of the American people in the path of the hurricane,” Trump said.
The president had been scheduled to depart for Warsaw on Saturday for a visit to commemorate the 80th anniversary of World War II.
Trump said he delivered the news to Polish President Andrzej Duda earlier Thursday and plans to reschedule the trip in the “near future.”
He already had canceled the second stop of the trip — Denmark — after leaders there mocked his desire to purchase Greenland.
Forecasts have shown the storm becoming more dangerous in its path toward Florida’s Atlantic coast.
Forecasters said the storm could strengthen into a dangerous Category 3 hurricane by Friday, staying well east of the southern and central Bahamas before making a turn toward Florida by Sunday afternoon.
At that time, the National Hurricane Center has predicted the storm will strengthen to Category 4 status as it approaches Florida.
“Hurricane Dorian looks like it will be hitting Florida late Sunday night,” Trump tweeted Thursday morning. “Be prepared and please follow State and Federal instructions, it will be a very big Hurricane, perhaps one of the biggest!”
Fox News’ Travis Fedschun and The Associated Press contributed to this report.