Presidential candidate Ben Carson is cancelling a planned trip to Africa, citing security issues.
A senior Carson campaign official says that the move came after government officials briefed the campaign on potential security concerns, adding that the cancellation was not related to Carson’s recent slide in the polls.
Asked about the cancellation during a campaign stop in Las Vegas, Carson said “It’s classified information so I’m just going to say it’s too dangerous,” according to a pool reporter.
Carson added he was not concerned that the decision might make him look weak on foreign policy.
“I think it’ll make me look smart to not go into some place where there’s a lot of danger,” he said.
Carson announced earlier this month that he planned to travel to Nigeria, Kenya and Zambia at the end of December. The itinerary included a reunion with Siamese Twins he separated nearly two decades ago, as well as “fact-finding” about terror group Boko Haram.
The former neurosurgeon has slid dramatically in national polls, falling from first place (at 29 percent) in a mid-October NBC/WSJ poll to fourth place (with 11 percent support) in December.
On Thursday, Carson also confirmed that he will no longer travel to Israel in conjunction with the planned trip.
“Well I would’ve gone if I was doing it in conjunction with the trip, but you know, I’ve been there, I will be there in the future,” he said. “I think this might be a good time to spend a little more time at home.”