- An emergency alert went out Saturday morning warning Hawaii of an incoming ballistic missile threat.
- The alert turned out to be a false alarm.
- As state officials quickly worked to address the mistake, the White House released a statement in which it appeared to distance itself from the situation in Hawaii.
The White House appeared to distance itself from a colossal mix-up that resulted in a false alert being sent out in Hawaii warning of an impending ballistic missile threat.
President Donald Trump was on his golf course at the Mar-a-Lago luxury resort in Florida when the situation unfolded. The White House deputy press secretary, Lindsay Walters, released a statement afterward saying Trump had been made aware of the situation.
“The President has been briefed on the state of Hawaii’s emergency management exercise,” the statement said. “This was purely a state exercise.”
The White House said Trump was meeting with Robert Lighthizer, the US Trade Representative, on Saturday. It came as officials quickly worked to reassure the public that an alert sent to people’s phones in the state was a false alarm.
The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency tweeted, “NO missile threat to Hawaii.” An official from the North American Aerospace Defense Command, the agency in charge of providing aerospace warnings in North America, told BuzzFeed News that there was “absolutely no incoming ballistic missile threat” and that they were working to find out why the first alert was sent.
A second alert went out about 45 minutes later.
“There is no missile threat or danger to the State of Hawaii. Repeat. False alarm,” the message said.