Critics are blasting President Donald Trump for continuing to golf Saturday while frantic Hawaii residents rushed for pay after a false cell phone alert about an incoming ballistic missile.
The president was on the course in his Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach, Florida, after the alert was issued in 1:09 p.m. EST, according to media pool reports. His motorcade didn’t abandon the club Mar-a-Lago till 1:38 p.m.
Although Hawaii’s Emergency Management Agency quickly tweeted that the initial warning was an mistake, it took 38 minutes before a second mobile alert declared the initial a false alert. Officials said the wrong button was pushed.
At Saturday evening, Trump hadn’t issued any private statement — or tweet — regarding the scare. He’d tweet about “fake news” and again called journalist Michael Wolff’s book, Fire and Fury: Within the Trump White House, a “fake book. ” He also described Wolff as “mentally deranged. ”
It’s not clear just when Trump heard of the alert, although presumably the president would be advised of any potential threat immediately.
White House deputy press secretary Lindsay Walters said in a statement that the president was ldquo;briefed on the state of Hawaii’s emergency management exercise. ”
“This was purely a state exercise,” she added.
A White House official told CNN that the president was briefed in person from national security adviser H.R. McMaster, deputy national security adviser Ricky Waddell and White House chief of staff John Kelly.
A senior administrative official advised Politico that there was no military response around the president during the episode because there was no true threat detected by the military. The source also said that Trump’s Cabinet hasn’t analyzed plans for how They’d respond in this attack
Former Pentagon official Col. Morris Davis criticized the president at a tweet for continuing his round of golf on his or herldquo;taxpayer financed vacation” as Hawaiians “braced for a ballistic missile strike. ”
Former Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.) Tweeted that Trump was “somewhere on the back eight” while “1.5 million American citizens” were advised to seek shelter.
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) was quickly informed of the awake mistake and ensured Hawaiians at a tweet that there was “no more incoming missile,” even ahead of the second alert went outside.
She didn’t criticize Trump for golf. However she’d complain that the president had been carrying the nuclear threat from North Korea seriously nor coping with it sensibly.
A former Pentagon communications manager during the Obama administration quipped that “thank God” Trump was playing golf through the false alert.
Trump often criticized Barack Obama for golfing if he had been in office, indicating that he was failing his presidential responsibilities.
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