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tv   MSNBC Live  MSNBC  January 13, 2018 12:00pm-1:00pm PST

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welcome back. i'm david gura covering breaking news out of hawaii start the by the push alert you see on the screen there. ballistic missile threat inbound to hawaii seek immediate shelter. this is not a drill. that crossing the transom just about two hours ago.
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instilling fear in hawaii and receives that message. there were many minutes that passed before we got clarity whether or not that message was in fact factual that ballistic missile was headed towards hawaii. it was not. we spoke with the congressman from the second district in hawaii tull city gabbard who she called authorities and said it was not truth. sent out a tweet and trying to follow what it means for preparedness going forward. going to nbc news, the pentagon responsible for monitoring whether or not there would be an incoming ballistic missile. what do we know at this point from your vantage there at the pentagon of what happened? >> we don't know much yet. the two big questions are was this an accident, human error, which is possible, or something more intentional that may have happened there, something more malicious that happened? the pentagon is referring everything to u.s. pacific command in hawaii, of course, who is responsible. so how the military fits into
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this is when the military of course is the one who would first detect an incoming missile and who would send the alert to the civilian authorities there in hawaii. and there is several different military commands that do that. there is u.s. strategic command, u.s. northern command and u.s. pacific command who would be responsible for them directly alerting the officials, civilian officials there in hawaii and send the push out to all the residents. we don't know yet exactly what happened here. the military is trying to figure that out as well as hawaiian officials as we heard from jacob there on the island. but as of now, david more questions than answers. >> folks trying to figure this out. you mentioned u.s. pacific command. let me send out a tweemt, quote, u.s. has detected no ballistic missile to hawaii. earlier message sent in error and was a false alarm. we got a similar message from
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norad saying no inbound threat to hawaii. how is this supposed to happen? panic and interest what was going on in hawaii as all of this unfolded. within the pentagon and defense department, how is this supposed to play out? and how quickly could you and others get answered? we heard from the person representing hawaii she was able to get through to authority tieo verify this was not a legitimate threat. how would this play out? >> member of congress, had a little more quick response than i. >> faster than you. >> which is how it should work. generally what happens here is the first one get alert is u.s. pacific command and northern command, located with noradd, they would get some indication is inbound, when something is launched. so let's take when we get the
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first reports of any kind of a missile being launched out of north korea. they know that something has been launched well before they even know where it could be headed. whether it could be potential threat to u.s. homeland and allies or closer to south korea or what. so tulsi gabbard probably found out quicker than we did, 10 or 15 minutes from the u.s. military and ha wthat was comint of the region, u.s. command, put out they had no indication of any kind of missile that was inbound or launched. so i'm sure there are a lot of people trying to figure out what happened here. but the people i've spoken with in the military no one can tell me defin tvly that they actually gave any kind of alert to the civilian authorities to send out.
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so that's one of the pieces of the puzzle that we don't have answered. we don't have put together yet. is how is it that someone got the word to send out the push alert. because as of now i have no cages th indication that came from the u.s. military. >> still a lot of confusion. public information officer on hawaii telling us on a difficult line there was some mistake from the button that shouldn't have been pushed. of course something different from the white house. federal communications chairman is looking over this, fcc seeing how the push alert would have been sent out. covering the pentagon, we'll come back to you in a little s bit. thank you for the time. i want to go to kelly o'connell where the president is vacationing at the private club. we have an indication that he's been briefed over the last two
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hours. kelly give us a sense of what the white house is saying what transpired in hawaii just a short time ago. >> well, david, very limited information, which is not unusual for this kind of circumstance, where there is it an event that all the answers have not yet been pulled together. so what we have been told is the president has been briefed on this. at the time this was unfolding the president was away from mar mar-a-lago and at one fof the golf courses. we are told he did play golf. the president was at the golf course when this occurred, returned back to mar-a-lago. we don't know have sequence of events when he was notified or by whom. but they were told it was a false alarm during a drill. now for all the questions courtney laid out still things to be answered. what we have not heard from the white house is any statement of
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larger impact of reassurance or concerns about what this caused for the people of hawaii with this kind of a push alert with the dire potential consequences of it. so it's early stages here. but what the white house is telling us is that this was a state controlled exercise. i this i nk we need to get more questions answered about that what state resources deployed for such an exercise. that's one piece. but they are assuring us it was a false alarm during a drill. that could mean that when you consider the universe of possibilities, like a cyber situation where someone hacked into a dye vi'device into a hac. criminal a lacks. perhaps the white house is saying false alarm, we don't know, limited details coming
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from the white house. but given the impact and the timing, with things like the olympic games coming up in matter of weeks in south korea, the president's talk about his relationship with kim jong-un, leader in north korea, all of that is a back drop for any such alert, certainly sets off a lot of concerns. so we need more answers from the white house. they have given us this preliminary piece of information. and they'll be more questions that certainly state officials in hawaii will need to respond to as well as the military and the white house. >> kelly donnell traveling with the president in florida bringing to light that clarification from the white house deputy press secretary. saying the initial state white house clarifying saying this was a state controlled exercise. jacob, my colleague at msnbc is at waikiki beach in honolulu doing some reporting for nbc on how hawaii would prepare for something like this. not necessarily false attack but the threat of a missile headed
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toward the islands of hawaii. jacob, what have you learned since? we talked to you since the reaction to this push alert. now about two hours ago. what is supposed to happen. what have you learned about how all of this transpired? i'm still stuck what we heard from the department of emergency management this may have been something as simple as a wrong button being pushed. >> so that's the key. david the key piece of this, you were told this by a spokesman for the hawaii emergency management agency, live on the air on msnbc. from what he said, if that turns out to be true this was the push of a wrong button by somebody within a bunker at diamond head crater which is that way, civil defense agency headquarters for hawaii emergency management this was not a drill. this was a wrong button. we were in the room yesterday. we'll have some exclusive footage we can turn around for you sooner rather than later about what happens in this room.
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i want to be really clear. in this room, it's a very small room, maybe as big as this balcony that i'm standing on here on the hotel, two gentlemen sitting there 24 hours a day. dedicate the phone line that is connected to u.s. pacific command, headquartered here on the island of hawaii. if that phone call rings, sends along this is u.s. pacific command, three things they would say, we are u.s. pacific in land we detected a missile and you are intended target. that's when the button was supposed to be pushed. what you heard in your interview someone didn't get the phone call from anyone, which is what courtney was saying, they had no sign of this. instead, someone pushed the wrong button in the room that triggers the emergency alert system. let me explain why there were push alerts to cell phones but
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not sirens, 394 sirens throughout the islands of hawaii by mistake. this could be a big fat human error that triggered a message this is not a drill we've detected inbound ballistic missile coming from north korea. it could be as simple as massive hue middle east m human error. now that's something that would have to be sorted out by them. but from our perch here where we were yesterday inside the civil defense bunker on hawaii sounds like this was a big mistake. and you have the key part of it in your interview. >> over there in hawaii. stay with us. i'm joined by national security analyst and pick up from there what jacob was saying, could have been, seems likes it was a
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big fat human error that pressed the wrong button. there isn't much room for error? >> no, there is not. and let me talk about what courtney talked about how this works inside the department of defense. when the united states detects a missile launch let's say from north korea, by our satellites, immediately word would go to u.s. northern command, which is headquartered at peterson air force base in colorado springs, colorado. leadership would convene an emergency conference call with the pentagon through the joint staff through the joint chiefs of staff at the pentagon at the national military command stand there in the basement of the five sided building in arlington, virginia. try to get the secretary of defense on the line. and they would try to authorize the secretary to launch interceptors of those missiles from van der burg in california and alaska. that's our ballistic missile defense. our national missile defense
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launched to intercept a ballistic missile inbound to the united states. so i want to stress that our military response would not be based on an emergency management alert sent by the state of hawaii. we would not launch intercept ors of a missile based on that. however, david, i think it's important that this shows the frug international of tllty of of potential human error. and you know what has a more fragile system, north korea, they will could misinterpret something we were doing and perhaps make a mistake. and when tensions are high between two countries and both have military against each other, now potentially nuclear, the mistake and accidental war is enormous. >> yeah, based on rhetoric, if
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north korea were to miss interpret a tweet or something that the president said, now we are talking about something more tangible than that. i want to ask you about the reaction to the reaction from everyone that we've spoken to, i don't think there it was a clear sense of what should happen or what folks should do, that includes what the congresswoman second district in hawaii, g gabbard, she sent out a tweet. what does that reaction say to you how this all unfolded about preparedness for a real threat of this nation? >> great question, david. and it is important to note that civil defense is critical part of national defense. and part of national security. and officials there in hawaii and, frankly, all along the western part of the united states need to understand their game plan when and if they do get a call from u.s. pacific command which is based there in honolulu. when and if they do get that call saying we do have a missile
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inbound and deploy an emergency management plan. now the reality is that a bli ballistic missile coming from north korea maybe a nuclear weapon and what a civilian populus can do in the event of a nuclear strike. this will require fiofficials t think long and hard. at this point we don't think the north korea has ability to mount a weapon on intercontinental ballistic missile. we do think they do have a icbm that can go hawaii and western part of the united states. we don't know if they can do a conventional nuclear and go reenter into the atmosphere. so i think it is important to note that hawaii is really an epicenter of u.s. military activity.
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we not only have pearl harbor, we have squadron of f 22s. we have the pacific fleet. and aircraft carriers there. we have marine base. we have enormous military presence. it is concentrated right there on that very small island of course not even the largest island in the hawaiian island chain. so i think it is important that hawaiian officials understand the game plan what happens if they get that faithful call from command. >> folks, paddle boarding and people going about their business as usual. i want to ask about how much remoteness matters. you've gone through hierarchy what is supposed to happen. we have gotten some sense what we heard from members of administration in florida and folks in washington still confused trying to figure out what's going on. in light of what has to happen in rather compressed period of
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time, does remoteness matter before we had smart phones? >> well, david, you are making, again, an excellent point, which is that civil defense has changed in the era of everyone having a mobile device. and these push alerts which are governed by the civil authorities and the communication authorities in a particular area really have changed the way people get instant information. and i think what has really set people on edge here is that when this alert went out, and it was noticed on not just by people in hawaii, but then them posting on social media, and the social media alerts went to people in the national command authority in the white house and white house situation room, and the pentagon, all of a sudden people get into ha 3 point stance and say are we at work, do we have to do something as a response. again, as i referenced the warning, the indication and warning that intelligence officials from the pentagon would get would not come normally from civil alert on
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people's iphones and if you see this, you are wondering to yourself did the primary missile defense warning system fail. and are we kind of now in the position where we have though rely on this in effect back up warning system from the civil defense authorities. and you wouldn't dismiss that. you wouldn't put that phone back in your pocket and say i didn't hear officially through u.s. northern command. you would try to understand very quickly whether or not, as i said, the secretary of defense would have to authorize the lane shall of missile from fort in alaska in order to knock down the north korea ballistic missile. >> former chief of staff, stay with us. with me now is colleague
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vacationing in yewaikiki beach. did you get the push alert and what did you do after it came across? >> yes, got morning, i looked at the push alert, looked at my phone, getting out of the shower, and saw it basically said, i think you guys already have the alert that's been posted on social media, this is not a test. >> it's on the screen. >> basically ballistic missile has been launched. please shelter inside of a building. if you are driving your car, pull off to the side of the road. if you are outdoors get inside a ild abouting. stay away from windows. and i quickly then skrold through my news feeds to see if anything had been posted. nothing had been posted. >> i looked outside, just outside the window, court yard, aen there is people out there doing yoga.
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o yoga class going on. they didn't have the phones. no one was panicked. i clicked on espn basketball game going on, alert came on there as well. a crawl came cross and in audible voice took out the stau sew from the game. and voice came on this is not a test. shelter. get inside, indoors. so first thing i did was turned to my wife and said look i think we have 15, 20 minutes tops. let's call the kids. we have four kids all in college, one at duke other three at brigham young. they didn't pick up the phones. at that point send them a group text let them know mom and dad is here, this is where you can find the will and insurance information. my wife turned to me if we are going to go, my wife is from here.
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my wife basically said if this is it, no better place to go then here in hawaii two of us together. >> laugh about this and kids not picking up the phone. but you have your journalist hat on and try to process but sounds like you were making very real considerations thereafter you got this push alert. >> we did. in terms of priorities, i called my kids. they are the top of my list. then the next call, i don't know what this says about me, but the next call to me was to assignment desk in philadelphia, let him know hey i'm in hawaii, if i'm still here in 15 minutes, call me, if you guys want to do a talk or phone i'll be here undider my bed if i'm still alive. i don't have time right now to answer any questions. i don't know anything. the hotel we are staying at one of the iconic places in all of hawaii, the royal hawaiian right on waikiki beach, i look out the
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window, i stepped out of the room and lobby was filling up because people were coming off the beach. but there didn't seem to be a sense of panic. since then i've scrolled through social media and getting kids in manhole covers and all kind of things. but so far it's been business as usual here in hawaii. i guess, i don't know if people here, i think people here they have known for over a year, so north korea has capability to reach hawaii. but hawaii being hawaiians, everyone is laid back and no one seems to be in state of panic. >> i want to ask you about if there has been much closure. you talk about people gathering in the lobby. to hear from authorities if it was a false alarm, either the hotel, that this was all tied up. sounds like that hasn't
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happened? not much official notice about what happened about two hours ago? >> only closure is the local television stations went on the air and there people had on local experts who informed us this was a false alarm. that it was just a test. and an apologized for the inconvenience. but the hotel didn't alert us and let us know. i'm not sure that they knew. i think they were in the same state of panic that everybody else was in or just not knowing what was happening. but in terms of closure, hawaiians, you know, people here in polynesia, they get right back to their routine. they encounter hurricanes and all kinds of things all the time. >> okay. thanks to him and the assignment desk as well there at the station in pennsylvania for making himself available.
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he's vacationing in hawaii. as we continue to follow what happened after a push alert sent erroneously saying a ballistic missile was sent to that state. the end of this saying, this is not a drill, took many minutes before that was corrected and caused a lot of panic and concern among folks in hawaii. we'll continue to follow this right here on msnbc. mom, i have to tell you something. dad, one second i was driving and then the next... they just didn't stop and then... i'm really sorry. i wrecked the subaru. i wrecked it. you're ok. that's all that matters. (vo) a lifetime commitment to getting them home safely.
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>> getting ready to go to the beach. we were in our hotel and didn't know what to do. >> we were sleeping. and my friend woke me up. let's go. i didn't think it was too serious but i start running and went to other place that was concrete building. people running on the street. >> welcome back. i'm david gura following a frightening morning for folks in hawaii. with a push alert sent out 8:07
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hawaiian time saying this is not a drill. and then sending out alert apologizing it was in error. >> i want to ask you how much this has changed. getting it as a bush alepush al. jeremy bash, former chief of staff at the department of defense, cia talking about all the places this conversation has to happen when something like this takes place, in colorado springs, in alaska, in the pentagon. how has this changed, general mccoffee? >> let me say this situation is normally responded to very quickly. when there is a missile launch almost anywhere on the face of the earth, our satellites pick
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it up almost instantaneously. now where it is going takes a little longer. the system is in place and depends on not just the ballistic missile defenses in fort greelly and van der berg air force base, but also the detection system deployed in the pacific to include south korea. and by the way i think it's worth adding, we just tested pieces of that ballistic missile system a couple of weeks ago. the thad system successfully shot down a missile fired from hawaii toward alaska. and navy on a destroyer detected but did not engage another test on the hawaiian islands. so i think it's worth under scoring a couple things. one is we have to get more serious about ballistic missile defense. it's in adequately funded.
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technology is not yet there where it needs to be. second one from prer sperspecti civil defense to actually hit honolulu with a thermal nuclear device, if it's anywhere within range of the city, you know, sheltering in place isn't a great assistance. but having said that is corre, there. and it don't work. no sirens. i'm in a position to see literally thousands of hotel rooms on this glorious beach resort, and there was no action. hotel didn't come on internal system for a half hour. and then much later in japanese. so i don't think there was any notion of a systematic response to this missile launch. >> general, stay with us. my colleague jacob just
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footsteps away from where you are in honolulu as well. you were up on the crater learning about this. how does that square with what you are learning? >> actually, fascinating to hear the general talk about this. because hawaii civil defense is insistent only 10% of the people if it was a direct hit near the airport on the island of hawaii would perish. they say about 90% of the people might survive. they may just be without communication once that happens. if they are able to get and shelter in place in that 10, 15, 20 minute period that will transpire after the alert happened. the reason the general did not hear any siren, according to the spokesman that you spoke o this was a massive human error.
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someone pushed a button. we are trying to turn around some footage we were there yesterday. it was not the phone call that would come in from u.s. pacific command alert the pooh em in this room to not only a put out the push alert but sound the siren, put out television alerts, and interrupt television programming and interrupt all am f.m. radio. the reason that this system didn't go off in the way that it's in tended to in the way that people on hawaii have been drilling last two months is because if indeed what the governor is saying and what you heard on mbs snbc this was a bi mistake. they literally pushed the wrong button in a room staffed 24 hours a day in a cold war era bunker built actually earlier than that within diamond head
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crater and maintained and run by hawaii emergency management. so general saying spot on but they are saying up to 90% of the people could survive in the event of attack on the island of hawaii. that's why they have drilled so often about all of this. david. >> jacob referring to comments telling me that overnight here the wrong button was pushed. general, let me bring you back in here. dealing with very compressed period of time as jacob was just saying, 15, 20 minutes if a missile head nd the directioned of hawaii. in that chronology, when are civilians customarily notified? if talking about getting interceptors up and running and trying to shoot down intercontinental ballistic missile? did it strike you when you saw this alert, in that chronology
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when things were supposed to happen, alert like that would unlikely to come across all this other stuff that pentagon dealing with was taking place? >> well, it's 100 percent unlikely. in other words nothing that civil defense, hawaii or san francisco or new york city that doesn't come from strategic command, nomad and the other regional actors. and they are all instantaneously looped. so it's literally preposterous to think there would be a push alert unless it was triggered by the u.s. armed forces, and as i say the system isn't perfect, but detection of missile launches literally anywhere, whether it's russia, iran, china, north korea, is literally instantaneously. we know something is leaving the ground. by the way sometimes there are mistaken launch notices. then the question is what do you
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do about it? we had an excellent layout that best place to get the missile launch is during the boost phase. missile moving very slowly. very easy to engage with lasers if they are alerted. you only have a few minutes to do it. so mostly we have focused in the department of defense on terminal phase. so as coming in as they are coming in alaska, missile defense system, will then launch and try to hit a bullet with a bullet. we can do it. frequently it doesn't work. but that's where we are right now. now, again, on civil defense, it's not that it's useless. it isn't. it should be there for sue ntsu tornado, or threats from
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nations. but when it is activated has to be some sensible response. and there certainly was not in hawaii for this thincident. if you go over to the side of the road, the surfers weren't notified by siren. and there was no hotel response at all. so they have some work to do to figure out what happened and how to correct it. >> and we saw those surfers and paddle borders still off the beach. jacob, jump in here when talking about chronology, when civilians are supposed to be notified. i know there is this hierarchy in place. at what point are civilians supposed to be notified? >> yeah, frankly, david, and general, i was one of those surfers, out there in the ocean when this all happened with our producers from nbc. just wrapped up two days of reporting, our final shoots here, and about to head back to los angeles. no sirens were sounded.
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the reason that happened so prepost trust in the words of the general, this push alert was triggered by a massive human error, if what we are hearing on msnbc that you got in your interviewed david is to be believed. this was not triggered by a call from the u.s. military. it was not palm command headquartered here in hawaii that called the phone in this specific room. that phone was not picked up by civil defense, hawaii emergency management which is what normally would happen faa letter said this is not a drill was triggered. this was a person in that room that is staffed 24 hours around the clock that somehow pushed, literally the wrong button. it wasn't that they forgot to push the siren and forgot to interrupt television broadcasts and say this is not a drill, because that shouldn't have happened in the first place. what's press prepros tear us, it
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was a human error. it shouldn't have happened. it wasn't triggered by the u.s. military. it happened by someone making an error inside a bunker that is less than the size of this hotel balcony, a room inside the bunker inside the crater. so again when the general says, it should not have happened based on what i learned yesterday in that room where the alert was sent. >> we'll give you exclusive msnbc footage that jacob shot over the last couple of days. i want to read something here from our colleagues who cover the pentagon some statements coming across about the pentagon response to all this. two u.s. military officials the there is nothing there, saying
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this was human error, saying someone pressed the wrong button in hawaii. second thing that our colleagues at the pentagon reporting, not planning to release a statement. u.s. pacific command is taking all queries on department of defense. and we heard this was in fact a small alarm. much more to come here on msnbc. , shooting pain in my feet. i hear you, sam. cedric, i couldn't sleep at night because of my diabetic nerve pain. i hear you, claire, because my dad struggled with this pain. folks, don't wait. step on up and talk to your doctor. because the one thing i keep hearing is... i'm glad i stepped on up. me too, buddy. if you have diabetes and burning, shooting pain in your feet or hands, step on up and talk to your doctor today. step on up at outback, big australia is back. our biggest sirloin. our biggest bloom. our biggest entrees ever. and if you're ready to go outback big at home, order right now.
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welcome back.
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i'm david gura. following this breaking news in hawaii on their phones this is not a drill. many minutes followed before a correction to the message. we saw locals in hawaii. law enforcement and legislators in washington trying to establish this was a real threat. the department of emergency management saying no missile threat to hawaii. we heard from hawaii since this was human error. someone there in the department press the wrong button. trying to figure out what happened. covering the pentagon for us. what have you learned, courtney, from officials there at the pentagon? >> so spoken to people both in the region in hawaii and in u.s. military in the pentagon, and no one can find any indication that the u.s. military is the one who prompted this alert, that led
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them to send this push alert, indicating there was a ballistic missile inbound. and we spoke about this earlier, then general mccalf re-explaiex works. hawaii informs them there are some ballistic missile. u.s. has ability to see launches very soon and immediately start to assess what the potential trajectory is and where it could be going and potential impact point all over the world. that's u.s. strategic command and northern command who all work on that in conjunction with one another. but again once that threat comes in, if they have the indication that that could be coming to someplace like hawaii, or north korea could be hitting hawaii,
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they would be informed, u.s. military and u.s. pacific command would inform hawaii civil authorities they need to alert residents to take measures necessary, seek shelter, but in this case there is no cages, aga no indication, that the military did that. we are hearing more and more from hawaii military authorities this is human error. i suspect we will learn more about safeguards that are in place that didn't work in this case. there is already representative donovan on the hill who is the chairman of the house subcommittee on emergency prepar preparedness said he will hold a hearing looking how the u.s. can keep this happening again. >> i want you to stay with us. looking at time line.
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8:05, 15 minutes later this message indicating no missile threat to hawaii. we didn't get someone from u.s. pacific command 30 minutes after that initial push alert. we heard from a spoerks person saying that earlier message was sent in error. lucky to have my jack object my colleague on waikiki beach. i know you want to get into here to talk about how this went down and what you've heard since, jack object. >> jay object. >> let me pick up where courtney left off. if they detect, the way that hawaii civil defense emergency management the agency that sent out this alert in error would be notified of that on a small phone within the diamond head crater. we were in that room yesterday. what needs to happen to figure out where the break down in communication was, how this was
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actually sent out, if indeed the wrong button was pushed. what happened between the time, or what happened before the button was pushed. what is supposed to happen is the phone is supposed to ring. specific message that civilian message would get on the phone, we have detected in pound ballistic missile this is the target. short and to the point. at that point hawaii civil management can go into basically crisis mode. alert people here on the island. and what did happen today was not that process at all. as courtney has been saying from the pentagon, as kelly from the president. there was a breakdown and somebody sent out text alerts. 394 sirens throughout the island would have gone off. those sirens did not go up.
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you would have got alerts on television and am/fm radio about that. only that portion set off. thinking back, it's clear that call didn't come in in the room. that something else happened. and you were told the key information evidently by hawaii emergency management. somebody who pushed the wrong button. >> people turning to tv and am/fm radio and looking to seshl media as well. we heard from tulsi gabbard representative from hawaii democratic congresswoman talking about what happened to her. saying this was not a real threat. senator one of the two senators who represent hawaii tweeting as well. today's alert was a false alarm at a time of heightened tensions we need to make sure all
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information released to community is accurate. we need to get to the bottom and make sure it never happens again. jeremy bash, former cheefr of staff at the cia department and nbc analyst as well. jeremy let in light of what i j read there from the senator and what we heard from gab norbeber well. what need to change in terms of the civil defense, how we respond to something line this. >> i think we need to do have exercises and protocols to explain precisely how the pentagon would notify state authorities in ha way of an inbound ballistic missile and what state authorities should do and what the civilian population would have to do. but i want to stress that what really worries me is not that somebody pushed the wrong button in a bunker in diamond head. what worries me are a couple of different scenarios. first and foremost i worry that a human error could be
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potentially replicated by people who are actually responsible for warning of incoming missile launches including at northern command. before anybody says oh, that would never happen all you have to do is think about the cascade of human and technical bliglitc for systems to fail and for there to be mistakes so i don't think that our systems are immune from mistakes and human error. i mean our actual missile warning systems. second, i worry that the north koreans could misinterpret something that we do and they could have a human error on their side and they could actually engage in a militarily provocative action, maybe even launching a missile based on a misunderstanding of what we are doing, what our national command authority and what our military are doing. so if you think our system is fragile or prone to mistakes, i promise you, north korea's system is 100 times more fragile and prone to mistakes. i also worry of course that the
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president of the united states seeing something in the press, on television and social media would react before he talked to his national security advisors. it's critically important he get professional advice before reacting in a crisis. >> i want to pull up a tweet from congressman just moments ago. i'm following the issues with the hawaii emergency alerts and as chairman of the house subcommittee i'll been looking into what happened. i'm holding a hearing on february 6th and this among other important emergency alert issues will be addressed. who ultimately is going to be responsible for figuring out how this is supposed to play out in the future? who's taking those lessons and applying them to changed policy? >> well, i think there is a group of individuals of a federal and state level who are responsible for civil defense and that includes the united states department of defense including northern command which as i said is based in colorado but is responsible for the entirety of the united states as well as the department of homeland security as well as state officials in hawaii.
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and this is something that members of congress, members of the senate are going to be carefully overseeing to make sure that this system is properly funded and that people are trained and drill regularly on what's supposed to happen in a crisis. >> jeremy, general mccaffrey moments ago giving a sense of how robust our missile defense system is. i want to get your take on that as well. obviously we've heard about improvementes we could make to it. the president talking as he signed that tax legislation a few weeks ago, an element of that spending more money on defense. how robust is it? what struck me is you can use missile defense to hit a missile. sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. what's your sense of its efficacy and how robust that system is at this point? folks in washington are going to be looking at that in light of what happened today. >> i think it's a strong and good system we have, david, but i think general mccaffrey's on to something that it needs to be improved. in some ways national missile defense is a matter of math.
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we're going to want to fire four interceptors at any missile that the north koreans fire at us just to make sewer we have a higher percentage of hitting that inbound missile. so if we have to fire four for every one they shoot. once they get to about 10, 11, 12 missiles they fire at us we have to drastically expand our missile defense system. i also think he's right we need better boost face missile defenses. we need better capabilities in the region to hit a missile before it actually is terminal and ballistic at american soil. and i also think we need better intelligence on the front end to try to figure out what north korea's capabilities and intentions are. we have seen them able to put missiles on the back of trucks, not just track vehicles but wheeled vehicles meaning they can go offroad. they can go into forests, they can launch these things very quickly. they have perfected their solid
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fuel booster activities so they can launch of submarines and other places where we won't see them fuelling missiles for hours and days at a time and so we need to compress our intelligence cycle and make sure that we have the proper indications and warning so that if a ballistic missile shot got off we would be able to hit it out of the sky before it ever came near hawaii and before anyone ever needed to press a button to warn the scitizens. my thanks to my colleague who covers the pentagon. and to jacob soboroff as it happens is in honolulu and how they would respond to a threat, the likes of what we might be seeing a few hours ago when a push alert came out to folks in hawaii indicating a ballistic missile was inbound to hawaii reading seeking immediate shelter. we found out it was an erroneous alert.
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we'll hear more from jacob soboroff as we continue our coverage right here on msnbc. starting their day building on over a hundred years of heritage, craftsmanship and innovation. today we're bringing you america's number one shave at lower prices every day. putting money back in the pockets of millions of americans. as one of those workers, i'm proud to bring you gillette quality for less, because nobody can beat the men and women of gillette. gillette - the best a man can get.
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thank for watching. the news continue right now with a particular focus on what's going on with hawaii. >> david, thank you so much for that great coverage. we'll continue that right now. thanks for joining me i'm richard lui. we're going to continue the coverage, those frightening moments for folks in hawaii. this as that alert that people got on their phones just three hours ago. it warned of an incoming ballistic missile threat telling
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them to go and seek shelter. there it is right there. but it was a false alarm. the hawaii governor's office confirms that someone hit the wrong message. here's how our affiliate explained what happened. >> there's a daily procedure involving three people who hand off control of a certain area to three other people. and as part of that procedure, there's a test that's run to send out the alert. in this case, one of the people involved pressed the wrong button. that's it. >> joining us right now msnbc news correspondent, what's the latest from what you're hearing at the pentagon? >> they're still trying to assess and what happened in those protocols. we have this local report who says the system was falsely noti