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

White House: Hawaii false alarm 'purely a state exercise'
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The White House said Saturday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says 'Failing New York Times' should be held 'fully accountable' over Russia report Trump says 'Failing New York Times' should be held 'fully accountable' over Russia report Trump tweets ICE will begin removing 'millions' of undocumented migrants 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.

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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 GabbardJuan Williams: Trump's incredible shrinking GOP Juan Williams: Trump's incredible shrinking GOP Overnight Defense: Trump doubles down on claim Iran attacked tankers | Iran calls accusations 'alarming' | Top nuke official quietly left Pentagon | Pelosi vows Congress will block Saudi arms sale 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.