Trump will not visit Iowa after teasing potential ‘surprise’ trip

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President Trump will not stop in Iowa on Monday after saying he might make a “surprise” visit to the state as part of a scheduled trip to Minnesota and Wisconsin later in the day.

White House chief of staff Mark Meadows told reporters aboard Air Force One that while Trump wanted to visit Iowa, ” logistically, we could not make it work at the last minute.”

Speaking to reporters at the White House earlier Monday, Trump said he had just approved an emergency declaration for Iowa following the devastating windstorm that wreaked havoc across the Midwest.

The president also said he was trying to work in the Iowa stop as part of the day’s travels and that he would be traveling to the state soon, if not Monday.

“We are heading now to a combination of different places. We may do a surprise visit,” Trump told reporters as he departed the White House for what is officially a two-state trip. “A surprise visit to Iowa. If we can get it in, we are going to do that.” 

Trump also said the Federal Emergency Management Agency is in Iowa “in full force and helping them greatly.” The windstorm, called a derecho, struck last week and led to power outages for thousands of households and businesses in Iowa and Illinois. It also flattened crops.

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) has requested nearly $4 billion in federal disaster aid to cope with the effects of the storm.

Trump is scheduled to deliver speeches on jobs and the economy in Mankato, Minn., and later in Oshkosh, Wis., on Monday. The trip to the two swing states comes on the first day of the four-day Democratic National Convention.

Trump has a busy week of trips and public addresses planned, offering him an opportunity to provide a counter-message to the events of the Democratic convention, where his opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden, will be officially nominated.

Trump has a slight edge over Biden in Iowa, according to recent polls. A Monmouth University poll released at the beginning of August showed Trump topping Biden 48 percent to 45 percent — within the survey’s margin of error — among registered voters in the Hawkeye State.

The RealClearPolitics average of recent surveys in Iowa shows Trump’s lead at less than 2 percentage points. Trump won the state handily in 2016, defeating former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton by about 10 percentage points.

Trump told reporters Monday that his campaign is “doing well in Iowa” and that he wanted to “be with the people of Iowa.” It is not clear when the president will visit the Hawkeye state.

–This report was updated at 1:32 p.m.

Tags 2020 campaign 2020 elections battleground state derecho Donald Trump farmers Hillary Clinton Iowa Joe Biden Mark Meadows Minnesota polls surveys Swing state Wisconsin

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