Trump cancels Missouri rally as Hurricane Florence nears East Coast

President Donald Trump speaks to supporters July 31, 2018, at a rally in Tampa, Florida.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — President Donald Trump is canceling a campaign rally in Missouri as a potentially catastrophic hurricane nears the East Coast.

Trump on Tuesday announced he’s axing his planned visit to Cape Girardeau on Thursday. His campaign said that’s the safest decision in light of the approaching hurricane.

Hurricane Florence is expected to be an extremely dangerous major hurricane through Thursday night.

Trump had planned to urge the defeat of Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill at the rally. He’s backing her Republican challenger, Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley.

Trump won Missouri by 18 percentage points in 2016. McCaskill is a top target for Republicans seeking to expand the party’s slim 51-49 edge in the U.S. Senate.

She is among 10 Senate Democrats up for re-election this year in states that Trump won.