Politics

‘Monster’ Hurricane Michael Is a ‘Big Tornado,’ Trump Warns

President mulls canceling Wednesday night campaign stop in Pennsylvania

Hurricane Michael, fueled by warm Gulf of Mexico waters, is like a “massive tornado,” President Trump warns. (National Weather Service photo)

Hurricane Michael is a “massive tornado” that is about to cause widespread damage in Florida and nearby states as the category four storm makes landfall, President Donald Trump warned Wednesday.

After receiving a briefing on the hurricane from Homeland Security officials, the president said Michael began “innocently” but then “grew into a monster.”

[Trump Largely Focuses on Own Re-Election at Iowa Rally for GOP Incumbents]

“It’s like a big tornado, a massive tornado,” said Trump, who already has taken the step of declaring a disaster in Florida to unlock existing emergency funding.

Because “some of the areas are very poor,” in the storm’s expected path, it will be “very difficult for people without the necessary resources to leave,” the president said.

The president told reporters in the Oval Office he likely will travel to the Michael-hit areas on Sunday or Monday.

[Grassley: Judiciary Panel Won’t Consider Supreme Court Nominee for 2020 Vacancy]

Trump is scheduled to travel later Wednesday to Pennsylvania for a fundraiser and campaign rally, but he left open the possibility he might cancel that trip.

“I don’t know what to do because there are so many people already there,” he said of the Erie arena that will host the rally on behalf of several GOP House and Senate candidates. At one point he said he “probably” would go. At another, he expressed a desire to remain in Washington to monitor the hurricane.

Watch: Trump Discusses Potential UN Ambassador Replacements

Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call on your iPhone or your Android.