The president was on the course at his Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach, Florida, after the alert was issued at 1:09 p.m. EST, according to press pond reports. His motorcade didn’t leave the club for Mar-a-Lago until 1:38 p.m.
Although Hawaii’s Emergency Management Agency rapidly tweeted that the initial warn was an error, it took 38 minutes before a second mobile alerting declared the first a false alarm. Officials said the incorrect button had been pushed.
It’s not clear exactly when Trump learned of the alerting, although presumably the president would be informed of any potential threat immediately.
White House deputy press secretary Lindsay Walters said in a statement that the president had been “briefed on the nation of Hawaii’s emergency management exercise.”
“This was strictly a nation exercise, ” she added.
A White House official told CNN that the president was briefed in person by national security consultant H.R. McMaster, deputy national security consultant Ricky Waddell and White House joint chiefs of staff John Kelly.
A senior administrative official told Politico that there was no military reply around the president during the incident because there was no actual menace detected by the military. The source also said that Trump’s Cabinet hasn’t yet tested plans for how they would respond in such an attack
Former Pentagon official Col. Morris Davis blamed the president in a tweet for continuing his round of golf on his “taxpayer money vacation” as Hawaiians “braced for a ballistic missile strike.”
Former Rep. John Dingell( D-Mich .) tweeted that Trump was “somewhere on the back nine” while “1. 5 million American citizens” were told to seek shelter.
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard( D-Hawaii) was quickly informed of the alerting error and assured Hawaiians in a tweet that there was “no incoming missile, ” even before the second alert went out.
She didn’t criticize Trump for golfing. But she did complain that the president was neither taking the nuclear menace from North Korea seriously enough nor dealing with it wisely.
A former Pentagon communications director during the Obama administration quipped that “thank God” Trump was playing golf during the false alarm.
Trump frequently criticized Barack Obama for golfing when he was in office, suggesting that he was forgetting his presidential duties.
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