Trump cancels Missouri rally as Hurricane Florence approaches

President Trump has canceled a rally planned for Thursday in Cape Girardeau, Mo., due to the approach of Hurricane Florence, his campaign announced on Tuesday.

The decision comes one day after the campaign scrapped a similar rally scheduled for Friday in Jackson, Miss.

"With Hurricane Florence on its way, we determined that this is the safest decision," Trump campaign chief operating officer Michael Glassner said in a statement.

The hurricane has intensified in the past few days, becoming a Category 4 storm as it barrels toward the East Coast. The National Hurricane Center called the storm "extremely dangerous" and predicted it could cause widespread damage in the southeast and Mid-Atlantic.

Trump's decision to clear his schedule of campaign travel comes after he faced a massive backlash response to Hurricane Maria, which killed nearly 3,000 people last year in Puerto Rico and knocked out power for months on large swaths of the island.

The president had a hurricane preparedness briefing on Monday with Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and FEMA administrator Brock Long and issued a warning to Americans in the storm's path.

"My people just informed me that this is one of the worst storms to hit the East Coast in many years. Also, looking like a direct hit on North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. Please be prepared, be careful and be SAFE!" he tweeted.

More than 1.5 million people are under evacuation orders ahead of Florence's expected landfall near the Carolinas.

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