On Saturday, a false missile alarm was sent out in the state of Hawaii and according to Politico, Donald Trump’s White House was unprepared if the event had happened to be true.
“President Donald Trump’s Cabinet has yet to test formal plans for how to respond to a domestic missile attack, according to a senior administration official,” wrote Politico’s Eliana Johnson. “John Kelly, while serving as Secretary of Homeland Security through last July, planned to conduct the exercise. But he left his post to become White House chief of staff before it was conducted, and acting secretary Elaine Duke never carried it out.”
According to the report, only lower-level officials took part in an exercise in December, but as of Saturday, no “principal” Cabinet members were properly trained to take on this type of emergency.
“The U.S. government hasn’t tested these plans in 30 years,” said the senior administration official to Politico. “All the fresh faces sitting around the table in the situation room have little idea what their roles would be in this scenario. The bottom line is that without a principals-level exercise we shouldn’t have any confidence that the Cabinet would know what to do in an attack scenario.”
Trump himself was taking some personal time at his Mar-a-Lago resort playing golf when he received the news. The White House did not make an official response until hours after the first warnings were sent out.