White House: Hawaii false alarm 'purely a state exercise'

White House: Hawaii false alarm 'purely a state exercise'
© Getty Images

The White House said Saturday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpNFL players stand in tunnel during anthem, extending protests 12 former top intel officials blast Trump's move to revoke Brennan's security clearance NYT: Omarosa believed to have as many as 200 tapes MORE was briefed on the false emergency alert that went out in Hawaii warning of an incoming ballistic missile threat.

"The President has been briefed on the state of Hawaii's emergency management exercise. This was purely a state exercise," White House deputy press secretary Lindsay Walters said in a statement.

ADVERTISEMENT

Individuals in Hawaii received a mobile alert earlier in the day, reading "BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL."

Hawaii officials such as Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardPentagon’s No. 2 official: Trump’s ‘Space Force’ could cost 'billions' Ryan discovers Jewish heritage on PBS show Hoping to catch fire, House Dems eye White House MORE (D) and the state's Emergency Management Agency quickly tweeted that the message was a false alarm. 

However, 38 minutes elapsed before a second alert saying it was a false alarm went out.

The initial notification caused panic and confusion across the state, and Hawaii lawmakers have called for officials to be held accountable in light of the incident.

Trump was briefed on the incident while in Florida for the holiday weekend.