CNN host Jake Tapper said Sunday there are a “lot of people who are happy” that President Donald Trump wasn’t watching Fox News when news broke of what turned out to be a false alarm of a ballistic missile heading toward Hawaii, saying misunderstandings have nearly led to nuclear war in the past.
People in Hawaii received the false emergency alert notification on Saturday of a “ballistic missile threat inbound” to the state. The message said it was “not a drill” and told people to immediately seek shelter.
The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency responded on social media to say there was no inbound missile, but the initial alert still created panic. The second emergency alert sent out to phones to indicate there was no real threat didn’t go out until 38 minutes after the first one.
Tapper interviewed Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D.) on “State of the Union” about the incident. He noted Trump’s fondness for the conservative morning show “Fox & Friends” and suggested it could have led to nuclear conflict if he had seen the false alarm on the news rather than learning about it while playing golf.
“I don’t want to be flip about this. I think there are a lot of people out there who are happy that this at least didn’t happen while President Trump was watching ‘Fox & Friends,’ and instead it happened when he was out on the golf course, and he was informed about this by layers of advisers and such,” Tapper said. “Because we know that historically misunderstandings and false alarms have almost led to nuclear confrontation, nuclear war. Are you at all worried about the fact that an accident, a misunderstanding might lead to something like this?”
“There’s no question, and that really highlights the global consequence of what Hawaii just went through yesterday,” Gabbard said. “This is not just about what happened to Hawaii, and this is where I really hope that people across the country, that leaders here in Washington are paying attention to what people went through and what the consequences of that can be.”
Gabbard said the question was about why Hawaii is facing a threat in the first place and what the Trump administration was doing to address North Korea.
Hawaii Gov. David Ige (D.) told CNN the mistake was due to “a standard procedure at the change over of a shift, and an employee pushed the wrong button.”
Gabbard went on to say she continued to encourage Trump to directly negotiate with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un and do so without preconditions.