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White House: Hawaii false alarm 'purely a state exercise'
The White House said Saturday that President Trump 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.
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 Gabbard (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.