tv CNN Newsroom With Ana Cabrera CNN January 13, 2018 12:00pm-1:00pm PST
top of the hour. it is 3:00 in new york, noon on the west coast and 10:00 a.m. in hawaii where a terrifying alert went out this morning that turned out to be a false alarm thankfully. you are live in the cnn newsroom. here is what happened. a statewide emergency message went out ordering people in hawaii to take shelter because a ballistic missile or any stimis were headed to hawaii. for nearly 40 minutes the people who got that message had reason to believe they were under attack. thankfully again thankfully this was just a false alarm. but the panic and fear was very real. and i want to take you to hawaii right now where the governor just spoke.
let's listen in. >> this morning an error was made and a false alarm was sent to cellphones and to tv and radio. we investigated and as soon as we became aware that it was an error, we took action to send the notification that it was a false alarm. this should not have happened. we have investigating the sequence of events that occurred. and an error was made in emergency management which allowed this false alarm to be sent. >> can you explain the error in-depth as much as you can? >> it was a procedure that occurs at the change of shift, enabling to make sure that the system is working, and an employee pushed the wrong button. >> it came down to a person pushing the wrong button? who is that person? >> it is my responsibility, so
this would be my fault. for our purpose of this, the change of shift briefing, it is for each shift to understand what is the process. we'll take action to prevent this will never than again by having more than one person there to do this, make this decision. but again, let me finish the investigation. this is my fault and we will ensure this never happens again. >> miyagi, head of fema -- >> i'm the administrator of the hawaii emergency management agency. >> were you hear when it happened? >> no. this is the design center.rear happened? >> no. this is the design center.r whe happened? >> no. this is the design center. when happened? >> no. this is the design center. we don't have people calling us for to get permission. we have such a shorts time. this is regrettable. it won't happen again. the criticality of the time of the event and the credibility of this alarm going out is critical for us saving lives. so he with will take action to make sure this didn't happen again. >> you know, and certainly the whole situation is a balance. we do know that under a
ballistic missile attack, the time frame allowed for response is very short. so we have been working at understanding to keep the people as much notice as we can. obviously there was a breakdown in procedure that allowed the false alarm to occur. it is regrettable and we will be looking at all of the policies and procedures that occur at the change of shift and other times that may be vulnerable to make sure that this event does not happen again. >> you know, we were at the news station when it happened and a lot of folks did not know what do. we tried to get in contact to confirm what had happened and about 30 on minutminutes later, alarm went off. there was a pretty long time. >> we need to work on the response time. if anything like this happens, the cancellation has to go right away. so let me find out what the process was and why it didn't go
out quicker. >> you can tell us why not all cellphones received the alert? >> i can't tell you equipment-wise, but i think it depends on the carrier. what is the carrier or company that sponsors that. but we'll review that, too, because all of them should have gotten it. >> under the best circumstances, if they realized a mistake is made right away, could they have written out a correction and pressed the button to send it out within a minute? >> there is a cancellation process that should have gone out right away. so let me get in to that and why it did not work. >> can you tell us anything about that right now? >> not right now. i have to go back and check into it. >> and the person who pressed the wrong button, they were by themselves in the room, nobody else around? >> it was an inadvertent mistake. the change of shift is about three people to three people 24/7. that should have been caught as far as the process should -- it
shoot no have happ should not have happened. >> and can you explain, is it as simple as pressing a button or is it going through -- >> there is a check list that is in place. so that should have been followed. and i'm going to find out why it wasn't or what happened. again, let me assure you that i will look through this, investigate, and this will not happen again. >> was this a failure to plan in the first place before the program ever went into place, not to have a better safeguard? >> no, i think we have the process in place. it is a matter of sxurt i executing the process. again, it was human error. i'd like to make sure that -- it is human error. but the process has to be looked at. procedures have to be looked at again to make sure this doesn't happen again. >> this change in shift routine happens three times a day, seven days a week, 365 days out of the year before and for the most part, it occurs flawlessly. there was an error today and we will be investigating and
changing procedures so that we can avoid this from ever happening again. >> clearly there was a lot of panic today and now if there is another actual alert, there will be much doubt. so what is your message to the people out there who just aren't going for belieto believe the n? >> we understand i was awakened by the alert like everyone else here in the state of hawaii. it is unfortunate and regrettable. we will be looking at how we can improve the procedure so on it didn't happen again. we are balancing informing the public as soon as possible. we definitely need to improve our procedures to ensure that when we find that it is this error, that we will be able to issue that as quickly as we inform the public. >> i think a lot 6 people will be relieved that it was a false alarm, but at the same time, it
sort of bringsis back that this is a real threat, this can actually happen. >> yes. again, what we experienced today, it happened, we can learn from it and get better. >> there is a couple things in the procedure that alerts would go out and then the sirens would sound to inform people so that we know that not everyone would get notified via cellphones or tv and radio. and the sirens is a signal to tune into tv or radio to get more information. so clearly there would be a process that would occur if it was a real attack. we apologize for the falls se am and certainly we will be looking at all the changes we need to
make to ensure that this never happens again. >> what was the military drill this morning? >> they were not -- >> no specific military role. >> i was with theed a the ed a we had con ffirmation that it w a false alarm, that's when we started working through. >> do you have a procedure that you contact the civil defense and they give whether or not it was a false alarm or true or not? >> yes. so we did both. confirming with the pacific command. >> so military leaders must have been -- >> we were in a meeting and about ten people all at the same time got 9 the alert and they started contacting the appropriate personnel. >> i wanted to clarify an
earlier question. what should the public do? the bottom line is if there is an alert like this that -- occurs can again, take the appropriate action. get inside, stay inside and stay tuned. if there is an all clear given, that is how you will be notified through the media. so we urge tpublic to keep with the briefings. >> i imagine there will be followups. are you offering any other media availability today to learn more about it? 24r are still a l there are still a lot of unanswered questions. >> if anything else happens, we'll send out an advisory and keep you in the loop. >> okay. again, just moments ago, we are hearing there from state officials about exactly what happened to result in a false alarm being sent out that a ballistic missile or missiles were headed to hawaii. it took 38 minutes before a
correction was actually sent out via the same system that sent out the original message. the original message said this was not a drill, which sent people into panic. i want to bring in our global affairs correspondent elise labo labott. obviously a huge sigh of relief that this warning appears to be some kind of a mistake, that somebody pushed the wrong button on. but the bottom line is, it scared the whole state of hawaii a whole lot. walk us through what we knew before this press conference because it kind of picked up with some of the trailing questions that we had. but there is a lot more was to the story. >> well, there are a lot of unanswered questions right now. and nerves obviously going to be raw not just in the united states, but i think particularly in hawaii, and around the world for some time. so around 1:30, those texts started going out. and a lot of concern, you know, that you look at the time that
it was in north korea, you look at the fact that, you know, hawaii local broadcasts were not broadcasting, you wonder maybe it was a false alarm. congresswoman gabbert immediately got on the phone to try to find out what happened and she was really the first public official to say this is a false alarm, do not worry. i'm assured that this is a false alarm. about 20 minutes later, pacific command then put out their own notice that said this is false alarm. and you have to note that pacific command, strategic command, norad, all these federal military divisions are the ones that have the assets to detect any incoming ballistic missile activity. that is where the state of hawaii would be getting their information from. and they saw this the state of
hawaii was not furthputting any out, they immediately said this is a false alarm. again, we're still waiting for the state of hawaii to put out their message. cnn had gabbert on the air, she was talking about what she learned. the other senator, state sena r senator, also put out that it was human error. and then we started to hear from other officials. 38 minutes it took the state of hawaii to put out that false alarm. and look, that -- when you talk to people that are in charge of these kind of systems, usually a system goes out that says this is a test. it's kind of like when cnn has a report or a government has a report that is a draft, you do not put out -- you don't even have a message like that without any kind of embargo sor saying
this is a test because accidents do happen and these type of accidents you get concerned. but look, there were a lot of concerns that perhaps this could have been a hack. cyber systems obviously a lot more attention to that by the u.s. military. that doesn't seem to be the case. but a lot of concerns thatted a remember saers around the world would have been watching noticing the response time that it took. north korea could be watching that. so a lot of raw nerves throughout the u.s. government, fbi, ddhs, fema all watching ths and they will demand answers as to how this happened. >> and the investigation is really just beginning. thank you. i want to bring in the hawaii senator joining us. he twhooet etweeted again false. the whole state was terrified, there needs to be tough and quick account ability and a fixed process. senator, thank you for joining
us. first, what is going through your mind after hearing from state officials about what happened? >> this is not acceptable. they did have a failure to plan. this is a new process for notifying the public in the case that it is no thet a faulgs als. people were terrified. children were sheltering in place in locker rooms. people were crying. businesses were shutting down. everybody didn't know what to do. and the anxiety that we went through was real and terrifying across the state of hawaii. but more than that, this yubd mines our ability to reliably notify the state of hawaii in case there is a real emergency. and hawaii emergency management agency has done great work in preparinging for and responding to natural disasters like tsunamis and hurricanes, but
they blew it here. it is totally unacceptable. i listened in on that press conference. and they don't quite understand how bad this was to the extent that one person was in a position to make a human error and send more than a million and a half people into a tail spin and it took 38 minutes to correct, there is just no excuse for that. i'm a pretty even keeled guy, but i'm quite angry. >> and we heard from vern miyagi, administrator of the hawaii emergency agency in that news conference, and he does say i take responsibility, this is on my watch. and here is how they explain what happened. they said they were going through the normal shift change procedures and somebody simple pli pu ly pushed the wrong button. and when asked why it took so long to follow up, they said we don't know, we're investigating. does he get credit for taking responsibility at least?
>> that is fine, but the adjutant general immediately confirmed that it was a false alarm. once he confirmed that it was a false alarm, in the age of social media, that needed to be tweeted out within 30 seconds. once we confirmed with paycom, norad, our missile defense agency that this was not happening, everybody needed to be informed. and the human error at the front end is process problem and that needs to be addressed. the personnel accountability always needs to be addressed. but the fact that state government knew it was a false alarm and then took between 30 and 40 minutes to inform the rest of the public is just an abomination. >> i want to ask you about how people reacted to this false alarm. thank goodness it was a false alarm. but people didn't know how they would protect themselves if this had been real. does this expose vulnerability in terms of what people should
do and knowing that there is actually a procedure in place should this happen for on real? >> takes gooit is a good remirn they don't know what do, that they shouuld get their own internal emergency procedures ready. they need to be able to contact friends and family, they need to collect the people who are close to them and shelter in place. that is always the advise in a a situation like this. getting as quickly indoors as you possibly came. but also a good reminder if people weren't sure what do, that they need to figure out what to do. but listen, that is the kind of thing that the testing process, the public education process, is supposed to accomplish. you're not supposed to accomplish this by this massive screw-up. >> no doubt about it. senator, thank you very much for your time. we hope you'll keep in touch with us as the investigation is just now under way. much more in a moment. tens of millions of people have switched to unlimited
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people in hawaii were alerted that police stimissilest to strike them. it was a false alarm. an employee hit the wrong button during shift change. i want to bring in someone currently in hawaii, in the u.s. navy, just moved to hawaii three weeks ago to study to become a chaplain. thank you for joining us. tell us about the moment you got the alert. >> thank you for having me. approximately at 800::00 my pho went off and alerting me that a missile bomb was heading to hawaii. and at the moment i was actually washing my hair and i jumped out of the shower to read the message and try to call my boyfriend who is stationed at pearl harbor.
but we could not use the phones to call in or out which made the situation a lot more exprestres. >> did you know where to go or what to do? >> no. at the time i didn't know exactly where the bomb shelter was located. however, my neighbors and i, we met in the hallway to try to figure out if we were going to go by car, if we were going to run. >> so you were working with neighbors so i presume they have maybe lived there a little longer. sounds like everybody was really caught off guard. have you heard if they have done tests or anything like this before to off guard. have you heard if they have done tests or anything like this before to -- i'm from colorado and we had tornado drills, drills about what to do should a missile strike be imminent? >> for the locals, they know exactly what to do. but for residents who are new to the island, we are not informed on what to do.
so i was gijust very blessed th my neighbors and locals knew where to go about that but she informed me that this is the first time that this has happened. her grandfather actually survived pearl harbor, so just by being related to someone, she knew what to do. [ audible breaking up ] >> thank you so much for joining us. difficult to hear you. i think our audio connection isn't as strong as it could be. but we appreciate you sharing your story for us. and thank you for your service. >> you're welcome. i want to talk more about all of this now with republican member of congress, congressman francis rooney of florida, vice chair man of the house foreign affairs committee. what is your reaction to the chaos caused by this false alarm? >> first of all, it is a really
tangible reminder of what a dangerous world we're living in with this north korea threat lurking over us. it must have been horrific in light of the circumstances to receive that. i don't know why it would take them 38 minutes to retract it either. >> congresswoman gabbert called it a stark reality. it was a leavrelief, but it was out of the relate him f of the . what are your thoughts? >> kim jong-un has said that he will hit the u.s., 45i, gentlemhawaii, japan arranged now to hahav and there is a tinge of realism to it. if i was on the beach in hawaii and i got in a notification, i don't know what i would do. >> same with a lot of people responding to that. we heard people running in to thoels, g ho
hotels, getting in the bathrooms. and this is just before the second round of talks between south korea and north korea. and the president says he has a very good relationship with kim jong-un, the president off justly really all over the map on his rhetoric about north korea. what does he need to say now following this situation? >> i think he needs to continue to call on china to deal with their subsidiary in a responsible manner and i think he needs to maintain the consistent line that he's done so far and i think that works well with rex tillerson's somewhat counter narrative, reminding everyone that we don't want to take over peninsula, we don't want regime change, we just want them to stop threatening the world with nuclear weapons. >> and we're still learning new information. it was human error that caused a false alarm. and all a mistake, but it was something that happened so
simply during shift change. a wrong button apparently. what do you think should be the next step as far as the investigation and making any kind of change? >> one thing i would do, i would put in place one of those second guessing notifications that when you hit it, it ask you one more time ask you sure you want to do that before it goes out. and then if you make a mistake, i'd immediately have a procedure for calling it back. >> is this a situation you and your colleagues on the house foo fofrn affa foreign affairs committee have even discussed? >> we haven't. i think the armed services committee may have, but what we have been discussing is the diplomatic solution to the problem that i mentioned earlier. you know, i was kind of just thinking about the old 1950s when a lot of people built shoel ter shelters and things and we've gone full circle here. >> congressman, stand by because
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more immigrants from haiti. the president denies using that specific language, but two lar s lawmakers confirm he made the remarks. today a group representing every african country is demanding a retraction and apology. and meanwhile president trump has rejected a bipartisan deal on immigration and he is blaming democrats. he has also canceled an upcoming meeting to london which he is blaming on president obama. the president also extended the iran deal but with conditions. he warned this is the last time that he will give this deal more time unless changes are made and finally trump said he has a very good relationship with the north korean leader kim jong-un. he won't say whether he has every talked to him though. all of this again in the last 48 hours. let's bring back francis rooney. congressman, where do you stand on president trump's comments referring to some an cfrican
nations a k-hos-hole countries? >> if he said that, it is extremely disappointing. and it is an unfortunate distraction from getting something done on extending daca in exchange for getting security measures and visa reforredoormf deal cut last week. >> so you denounce the president's words? >> i would say it is dispointing and and unfortunate distraction. we need get the people's business done. there was a deal that i thought was a good one. and in fact a loot like tot lik 2013 security provisions in the bill back then. >> is that the big presented to the president which he rejected? >> well, i don't know what he has rejected. this is what they talked about at the white house on thursday i
think it was, wednesday or thursday. wednesday i guess it was. >> and let me ask you specifically about your district and these comments how they may be having a ripple effect among the people you serve. you represent florida's 19th district, that includes ft. myers, cape coral, naples. 7,000 haitian immigrants live there. so tell me how those immigrants contribute to their communities? >> well, i'm worried about how they might feel right now. the haitian community here in southwest florida is a very important part of our overall community and our on economy. these are hard working people, family people. i've met with them. i've walked neighborhoods with pastor joseph who is one of the leaders of the haitian community. i've been to their churches. i've met with the health officials and hospitals down here where many of the tps haitians work and they are very valuable employees. and i signed a letter to the white house urging them to reconsider the tps situation for
haitians. >> so here is what we know. looking at education alone, according to the u.s. census bureau, 42% of african born residents have a bachelor's degree. it sounds like you value their con have i abuses to communities in florida for example. how can anyone argue they aren't bortd li worth any worthy of being here? >> i don't argue that. we've always been accept to be accept immigrants, not terrorists, immigrants, and to assimilate them into a common american culture. you have to have both. immigration of both people and plus assimilation. >> how will the president's comments impact negotiations to protect the d.r.e.a.m.ers who were brought to the u.s. as children?
>> well, that is what i say about distracting. we don't have a lot of time and there was real progress made last week from what i understand from majority leader mccarthy. so now we have this big rock thrown in the middle of the road and everybody is up in arms and i hope they can get back to thinking logically and reasonably about taking care of these people whose lives were put at great risk by an unconstitutional program. and to also take the opportunity to couple that with security enhancements, ending chain migration and diversity lottery like the democrats have already voted for once back in 2013. >> the democrats have said that they would be willing to add some border security measures to any kind of deal that is cut. but what you're saying and what the polling shows is that the majority of people both republicans and democrats vast majority want to protect these 2kr50e d.r.e.a.m.ers. why not have a stand alone bill? >> i have not heard anybody that
wants to -- that does not want to take care of extending the daca program. these kids came in here innocently. but we also have to strengthen our border and renorfo reform o immigration testimosystem about >> it seem like this should be an easy deal. when you talk about strengthening the border, are you saying there needs to be a wall as the president so often talked about, that being one of his campaign promises? >> let's talk about the wall if we have time. back in 20 on 13, the bill included $1.3 billion for additional fencing. there are 350 miles of vehicle preventive wall around the major urban border crossings and also vehicle preventive crossings that allow people to walk through it. so you could say extend those in
the bit when there are a lot of people crossing the border. >> so i'm hearing you say there isn't a need for a complete wall that is aligning the border? >> part of that border, i don't know if you've traversed it, but part of the border it would be very difficult to wall it off. a lot of it is in big canyons. and then the part of it west of brownsville is the rio grand river. so you have to figure out where you put the wall. >> so you don't think it is worth shutting down the government over the wall? >> i don't think it is worth shutting down the government at all. democrats don't do it. >> all right, thank you for joining us. up next, we have more than breaking news and we'll continue to talk about the terrifying half hour in hawaii thorn, this morning, a message saying ballistic missile were on the way. how the white house is responding. -looks great, honey. -right? sometimes you need an expert. i got it.
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back toe bre breaking news. a statewide emergency message in hawaii went out saying ballistic missile were on the way. it ordered people to take immediate shelter. fortunately this was all an accident. but for nearly 340 minu 40 minu people in hawaii had every reason to believe they were under attack. again it was a false alarm, but the panic was very real. this was a highway sign in honolulu showing a frightening correction. so how is the white house now responding to all of this? boris sanchez is in west palm beach where the president is spending the weekend. what is the president saying. >> reporter: right now the white house is not saying much about in false alarm. they did confirm that the president was at his golf course here in west palm beach when the urgent message was first sent out and then later 38 minutes later when we returned that it was a false alarm and then they put out the following statement, the white house writing that the president has been briefed on the state of hawaii's emergency
management exercise. this was purely a state exercise. they later clarified and said that it was a state controlled exercise meaning that it was under the purview of officials within hawaii and not any federal agency. the white house though not answering key questions, specifically when was the president briefed, when he found out whether or not he contacted anyone at the pentagon or his national security council, further if we're receiving alerts on social media about this fake alert in hawaii, then you have to imagine some of our hal l allies are seeing it. south korea, china. did the president hear from our allies and if so what was the response. we're not getting any indication of that so far. we should also note that despite the president's comments this week, that he may have a good relationship with kim jong-un and his appraising direct talks between north and south korea,
this incident is a reminder of danger of nuclear war is at our doorstep. >> boris sanchez, thank you. and an actor from the new movie black panther is waring in on the weighing in on the president's comments. he is a daca activist and he joins us live coming up. tens of millions of people have switched to unlimited
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actor that stars in "black panther" writing on instagram, "africa is the richest continent in the world." he's joining us now, after hearing what president trump said about african nations, what's your message to the president? >> well, my message is if he actually said those comments, it is very disappointing, it is the dehumanizing and it cuts really deep to the people who are from those countries. the reality is i don't know anybody from africa or from haiti that call themselves that word. i am not going to use that word because it gives it power. there is so much in the news, i cannot watch the news with my
daughter anymore. i want to like refocus this whole conversation, it is about getting a permanent fix for d a daca, there is an urgent need nor dre for dreamers. how much asians and how much immigrant contributes to this country so that they can be appreciated. many are putting their lives on the line to save this nation. that's my message. >> i appreciate that message and i know what you mean about using that word in its full context. i used it at least once this broadcast because i don't want to water down either, it has power when you hear it. it is hard to believe that anybody to say that led alone the president of the united states. do you believe the president is a racist?
>> do i believe he's a racist? i don't know. what i do know is if you are the president of the free world, we are expecting more from you and expecting you to use your power especially the power that can bring life and death to bring life and not division and not pain and suffering, when he uses words like this, it brings a lot of division and it affects policy as far as the world is concerned. it affects how people see africans and how people see haitians or black people all around the world. it carries a lot of weight and a lot of values. what i have been receives from my friends is a message of unity and i am proud to be african. i am proud to be apart of america. everyone just been saying look, we are embarrassed by these comments. they don't represent us. we love you and we appreciate the contributions that you
brought to this country. we want you to stay in continue to be apart of this great fabric. this is what america is about. >> finally, i have to ask you your new movie, "black panther." ticket record is all sold out. >> we know it has an african-american casts. what does it mean to you to see this kind of reactions and anticipation. >> i am so excited. this is history? the making. the media in hollywood gets it wrong so many times as far as africa being a war place instead of this beautiful phenomena that it is. this film shows africa in an aspiring light of wealth, dignity and royalty and innovation and it really helps us dream and believe and know that this is the potential that africa actually has.
i cannot wait for the film and we are all excited. i want to tell all the fans out there that you will not be disappointed. everyone is apart of this film, we are so excited to finally show africa in the light that it deserves. >> bamba, appreciate your energy and experience and your passion for what you do and your country of origin. thank you very much for being a guest, and i hope we'll keep in touch. >> thank you so much, ana, i appreciate it. back to our breaking news, a terrifying half hour in hawaii this morning, a statewide emergency message went out saying ballistic missile is on the way, this was a false alarm, a lot of people did not know it for quite some time. we'll take you there live, next.
this is cnn breaking news. thank you for being with us, i am ana cabrera in new york. terrifying words to everyone in the state of hawaii. this is not a drill. those words went to thousands of cell phones and erupted tv shows, blasted over the radio, ballistic missile s in bound. the warning was not real. it took 41 minutes. that's how all the frighten people in hawaii that a missile launched some where was on the way. a worker inside the emergency center in his words pushed the wrong button. it was human error, a false alarm. on the phone with me now, sarah sid sidner, you were in honolulu a month ago, did you g