"To ensure that all resources of the federal government are focused on the arriving storm, I have decided to send our vice president, Mike Pence, to Poland this weekend, in my place," Trump said Thursday at the beginning of an unrelated White House ceremony. "It's something very important for me to be here. The storm looks like it could be a very, very big one indeed."
Trump said he had spoken to Poland's President Andrzej Duda and added that he would reschedule his visit "in the near future."
"Our highest priority is the safety and security of the people in the path of the hurricane," Trump said.
JUST IN: President Trump cancels his trip to Poland over the weekend due to Hurricane Dorian, says he will send Vice President Mike Pence in his place: “Our highest priority is the safety and security of the people in the path of the hurricane.” https://t.co/1Ro7MiJPPL pic.twitter.com/IvIZk90Pq7— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) August 29, 2019
Dorian on Thursday strengthened and took aim at Florida, after tearing through the Caribbean on Wednesday. Florida's governor declared a state of emergency in every county, while his counterpart in Georgia made the same declaration for a dozen counties.
The president and first lady had planned to travel to Poland this weekend to "attend commemorative ceremonies and visit memorial sites" tied to World War II in the Polish capital, Warsaw.
They had originally planned to stop in Denmark, too, but Trump cancelled that leg of the trip last week after Denmark's prime minister dismissed his idea of buying Greenland as "absurd."