tv All In With Chris Hayes MSNBC January 13, 2018 3:00pm-4:00pm PST
trying to process. what have you learned how this transpired and how people reacted to it? >> reporter: the most basic level, david, a critical human error by somebody that sits within hawaii's civil defense headquarters. check it out here. with me, take a look. that's diamondhead crater. inside that is hawaii civil defense, hawaii emergency management. inside that crater is a room. basically within a bunker, built in the early 1900s, from which there's a telephone. a secure telephone. if a ballistic missile was detected launched from north korea a call would come in uspacom, pacific command, to hide, incoming nuclear missile. it only takes about 20 minutes to come from north korea to the
united states. this was a massive false alarm triggered by frankly somebody pushing the wrong button on the state side. turns out we were actually in that very room just yesterday reporting on a assignment for nbc about what would happen in the event of a nuclear attack on hawaii. i want to show you that footage now, david. take a look. >> this gentleman in the state warning point, state warning officers will receive a call from pacific command on a secure line which i'll show you in a second. that comes in and they have a few, about a minute or two to determine the accuracy of the call. authenticate it and make a decision to activate the state-wide siren system. >> reporter: so the question, david, is, is it one of those state warning officers? might it be one of those state warning officers pointed out to me yesterday within that bunker that might have inadvertently pushed the wrong button triggering a text alert to
hundreds of people, if not a million people on the island of hawaii, particularly at oahu. we were on the ocean, 10:00 a.m. when the alert went out and did not hear sirens. there are 394 sirens, situated throughout the islands of hawaii that are supposed to go off in the event of an actual nuclear missile attack inbound to hawaii. of course, the full system was not activated. the text message part of the system, i've seen some reports of the television alert also being activated. i talked to the center from hawaii earlier on msnbc. he says million until further notice, like to see a suspension of the system that tests those nuclear warning sirens until they can figure out what happened, why it happened and who set off the alarm and maybe in the press conference we'll get those answers. >> the governor scheduled to hold a news conference at any hoemt.
wh moment. what about the degrees things have changed. missile test after missile test. guam and other territories were within range of a north korean missile. how has the conversation changed in honolulu, in diamondhead crater how real a threat this is? >> reporter: the most urgent threats, frankly, david, to the people here on the hawaiian islands are hurricanes and tsunami. that's the normal function of the hawaii emergency management department. they frankly put the risk of an attack from north korea, the administrato administrator, at a pretty low level. because they've been monitoring the continued testing of short-range missiles and icbms by kim jong-un of north korea, started reactivating a cold war era siren system that alerts people here on the hawaiian islands of an incoming missile from north korea or otherwise. it's something they have, again,
started to reactivate just over the last couple months. they're taking it more seriously, even though they put the risk of this happening as a relatively low level. taking it seriously. working on every day. that room is manned 24 hours a day, because of the catastrophic natural disasters they may face here in hawaii. not top of the list but an important part of the funkds f of hawaii emergency management and the went very badly wrong today. >> in honolulu, an exclusive report in diamondhead crater. and kelly o'donnell, what's the lettest we've heard, how the president is following this matter? >> reporter: we have a little more detail, david, how the president was briefed. we're told the chief of staff john kelly, the national security adviser h.r. mcmaster
and his deputy were the individuals with the president telling him what played out in hawaii. from the white house today, limited information. they told us about the president being notified. explained that this was two their understanding a false alarm at the state level, and that's been about it. the president spent part of his day at one of his golf courses. played coug eed golf. had a separate meeting about nafta, the mexican trade negotiation, and what went wrong as a state level, we understand it to be a state responsibility at this point in hawaii. no discussion of the concerns, hawaiians felt during that intervening period nothing else. the president has used twitter to talk about one of his frequent concerns of late. a book written about him that's gotten a lot of attention, that he criticized, but no use of his twitter feed to speak directly to the people of hawaii or those
more broadly concerned how an error like this with a push alert could be such a concern. we don't know when or if the president will say something directly or how the white house will handle this going forward. it appears to be a state-level function. federal government doesn't always comment on specific state functions, but in this instance, given all the other larger political and national security implications, there might be an opportunity for the president to say more. he talks about the job of president being to secure the american people, being first and foremost. in this case, not an actual danger but perceived danger, still nothing from the white house on that. a simple set of facts. briefed. said it was something we should refer to the department of defense. this was a state-level issue. limited info coming from the white house while the president's here at his palm beach home. david? >> and kelly o'donnell traveling with the president.
and to courtney covers the pentagon. what have we heard about what happened? squarely within their-wheelhouse -- just a moment here. we're seeing the governor there david ige, governor of hawaii, approaching the podium in honolulu speaking at the honolulu department of emergency management. what he has to say. here he is, governor of hawaii. >> good afternoon. today is a day that most of us will never forget. a day when many in our community thought that our worst nightmare might actually be happening. a day when many frantically tried to think about the things that they would do if a ballistic missile launch would happen. i know firsthand that what happened today was totally unacceptable and many in our
community were deeply affected by this, and i'm sorry for that pain and confusion that anyone might have experienced. i am, too, very angry and disappointed that this happened. we are doing everything that we can immediately to ensure that it never happens again. you know, we have spent the morning with general logan and those involved with emergency management and their teams, and i have directed them to make the changes necessary to ensure that a false alarm will not happen. we are working to evaluate everything in the sequence of today's activities to make sure that we are prepared and the procedures are changed so that a single person will not be able
to make an error that triggers another false alarm. with that, i'd like to turn it over to vern miyagi to go through today's news. >> i'm vern miyagi, administrator of hawaii emergency management agency. i deeply apologize for the trouble and heartbreak that we caused today. we've spent the last few months trying to get ahead of this whole threat to provide as much notification to the public. today was something i regret, because i accept responsibility for this. this is my team. we made a mistake. we're going to take processes and study so that this doesn't happen again. let me go over, you were distributed today a press release i believe heard copy. a timeline. i'd like to spend a few minutes just going over that timeline.
a 0:085 this morning, my 24/7 operating group did a change of shift preparation, and the new incoming shift will do a check, a test, of the ballistic missile operation check list. at 0:805 this started. 0:807 is when the trigger was pulled on the test. the wrong button was pushed on this test. it went into an actual event versus a test. at 8:10 a.m., we, of course, got messages on our system. the telephones and so on and calls, that this had gone out, and at that point in time, we started the recall, the cancellation process. at 8:13 a.m., state warning
issued a cancellation of a civil danger warning message, and whatthis does is prevent anymore messages going out. it doesn't issue a separate message canceling it. it just stops the messages from going out. at 8:20 a.m., the management agency issued a public notification of cancellation on facebook and twitter. 8:24 a.m., governor ige retweets or message for cancellation notice. at 8:30 a.m., governor posts cancellation notification on the facebook page and 8:45 a.m., after getting authorization from fema integrated public alert and warning system, a civil emergency message was issued verbally alerting people a missile was not incoming and this was a false alarm. and that's where we were as the
end of today. as far as the way ahead, i have to emphasize that this is what has been happening over the last few months, and our focus has been getting the notification out to the public. we have to work on more, the cancellation notice in this event. our focus now, of course, is not to have anymore false alarms going out, and by doing this, we are working on procedures that have already been implemented, first of all, the governor has directed that we old off anymore tests until we get this squared away. what has already been put in place, two-person rule that during a drill, there will always be two people there before the button is pushed, for both drills and for the actual alert. the other point is the cancellation message. we will have a cancellation template that already been inserted whereby the
cancellation message prescripted to go out saying it's a false alarm and there is no missile inbound. i have to emphasize that at 8:10 a.m., right after this went out, general logan called pacific command to confirm there was no missile inbound, and that was our priority first to make sure that word got out. the other thing we need to do is expand the notifications protocols to the governor, the mayors, counties, all understand that this is a false -- we need to make more contacts to notify that this was a false alarm. the other point is contact with the press and the media to make sure this goes out right away also. again, i apologize for this. this is my responsibility, and my team. please, keep in mind that, again, the threat is there. if this comes out you're going to have 12 to 13 minutes of warning for actual event and
please take this to heart. again, i apologize for what's happened. >> alohaloha. obviously a day we'll never forget. like everyone else, we're extremely concerned that this happened. but also encouraged, and i'm very encouraged, that we'll have all of the key decision-makers and agencies now coming together, have a serious dialogue to ensure that this never, ever happens again. upon hearing the notice we immediately reached out to airports, harbors, our ten global partners in many instances because of the time difference, we were able to message very quickly that this was a false alarm. and hopefully mitigate any potential damp there. damage there. we spoke to all island chapters
industry stakeholders obviously very, very concerned and we assured them that as i mentioned earlier, there will be very serious dialogue between all decision-makers to ensure this doesn't happen again. the important thing, i think, is that for us, the health, safety and welfare of our visitors and our residents alike is always, always top priority. and we're going to do everything that we can do to assure that is there. and the message i would like to be very clear speaking to global partners is that hawaii is open for business. is still perceived as the most safe, clean, welcoming destination in the world. and i'm confident we will continue that message. thank you. >> with that we open it up to your questions. >> governor, never say never.
in a day of technology where you can -- why rely on hand audio notification? >> i think we have a combination, the notification process is a variety of different mechanisms. we have the sirens, you know, we have cell phones today. we have internet and social media mechanisms. we do know we immedianeed to beo broadcast messages through all platforms and that's what the intention was. there's was no automated way to send a false alarm cancellation. we had to initiate a manual process, and that was why it took a while to notify everyone. >> isn't there a way to connect it to -- when you have such things as -- where it could come out that fast, much faster, wouldn't that be a better
option? >> certainly, we will be looking at -- we've already implemented some actions to speed the process so that the public would be notified faster, but we are evaluating all of the processes that we currently have to ensure that we can provide the notice to the public as soon as possible. >> to clarify. the 38 minutes that transpired before the initial alert and the false alarm notification was the result of the time that you guys needed to manually take control of the -- >> no. a couple things. if you look at the timeline, certainly we had sent notification that it was a false alarm much earlier than the 30 minutes. >> right. >> the 38-minute interval is really the interval that we had to manually go through the process to provide notification on the smartphones and cell phones. we did have other notification that occurred much, much sooner than that. >> right. on twitter and facebook, but
everyone is hosting on media platforms relying on the devices or sirens, in some cases did go off in certain communities? >> yes. the sirens were separate and a few went off, but most of them did not, because they're not involve ared with this test. >> so -- clarification then is why were those sirens triggered? when you guys were already issuing a correction that it was a false alarm? >> we have to check on that. that's how we do the monthly tests, but the drill that was done this morning was only for the emergency alert system, which is a tv/radio. the emergency system, your cell phones. >> is the real alert supposed to work, then, where you would get this notification and then are the sirens supposed to go after that? >> correct. because this is an internal test, a drill, we don't want the sirens to go off publicly. >> so why did the sirens go off? >> we have to review that. we have to test. again, it's an internal drill.
sirens are not supposed to go off outside. this is to make sure personnel know exactly what prauocess to follow to initiate if it was a real evencht and the wrong button was pushed. clarification. there are buttons on a panel. one person pushes a certain button and there's no -- sort of a safety guard where -- are you sure you want to push that button? >> it's a screen. more like a mouse click. it's a screen. a test button and an actual -- the wrong button was pressed. >> that button is pushed. that's it? it goes through. >> that's correct. >> i was going to say the old process, no redundancy. we've implemented changes already to ensure it becomes a redundant process so it won't be a single individual. they'll be at least two people that would be involved here to initiate the alert. >> you mean since this morning
you implemented that? >> yes. that's correct. >> could clarify, someone sent out a massive alert saying this is not a drill. shelter in place immediately. by the time the next alert went out to the masses and those 38 minutes passed, you guys obviously already clarified it was a false alarm but still sirens started going off. you're saying that's on a separate system. so who made the call to initiate or authorize the use of the sirens? >> no one had authorized the use of sirens. the sirens should not, and we don't know, but we will find out. >> what is the procedure? the steps, what is the procedure when testing? >> the procedure for the test is that, in a real event, notification from your specific command. go to the test as far as activating the computer screen and the program as far as that would activate the warnings and alerts. so the process of our test is
that we simulate a notification from pacom. no notification from pacom came. we simulate that. based on that simulation our staff at the state warning point will open up the screen, go through the checklist and make the initiation. there is a -- again, it's a human error. there is a screen that says, are you sure you want to do this? okay? that's already in place. now, we have one person, human error, and that thing was pushed anyway. >> so there was -- by having redundancy -- >> also pressed yes? >> yes. >> there was a few-step process, press yes in both situations? >> right. >> so having redundancy, two people, 12 to 13 minutes to alert the public. how much-o much of a delay -- >> no delay. right now the process would be ots, the person in charge of the
warning point, that shift, would, the one to push it or oversee making sure there are two people there when pushing the button. >> there was a redundancy in place then. someone clicks, sends out a mass message and someone also clicks to say, yes? >> it's the same person. >> can you explain why, then, he did it twice? >> i can't explain that. like i said, it's a human error that we're going to fix. >> we understand it's a mrs. take. what a mistake. what are the consequences of the mass hysteria? >> the consequences are obviously bad. i'm walking on credibility now because we work sewed hard to get this in place and i want to tell the public. a mistake on our part but don't let that stop as far as preparation and warning time if this happens for real. so in my case, watch the news now. they're talking. kim jong-un is talking to the south. tensions are going, getting
better. when i heard this this morning, i thought it has to be a false alarm. that's not happening. outreach to public and training is, keep informed what's going on in the tension between the two countries, and keep monitor that so, again when i saw this today, when i heard this today i thought something was wrong. a false alarm. mainly because the tensions weren't there to start something like this. again, that's -- again, this should not have happened and we're going to work hard -- this is not going to happen again as the governor said, and we're going to work on the cancellation and notification process to be much better so this doesn't go through again what we went through this morning. >> consequences? the individual responsible, will they have consequences? >> the consequences are, there will be, of course, counseled and drilled so it never happens again. this is a shake-up here. to be honest. we're not going to do this
again. the people who went through this will definitely not do this again, because they don't want to cause all of this heartbreak. >> and counseling? any suspension or relieved of duties because of this? >> personnel issues. i'm not going to answer personnel issues. this isn't going to happen again. you got to know the guy feels bad. not doing it on purpose. a mrs. take on his part. feels terrible and it won't happen again. >> has he been working here a while. >> another personnel question. he's been here a while. >> a question about the alert that went out. not every carrier provided an alert? can you clarify that? in a real situation, everyone would need to know. >> i would say that we hope to learn from what happened today and that is one of the questions that we are asking. why is it that some of the people didn't get the other message on their phones? we want to understand which
carriers delivered the message and whether all of their subscribers received the message, same thing. we want to be clear about who receive d -- and right now we ae asking for that information from the carriers. >> and the islands -- >> all the islands. >> yes. >> certain carriers have, there are gaps. we need to identify what carriers don't have it, talk to them and make sure that they get on. that's to do. >> can you talk about what you want people to know with regard to being able to gain their trust in the system? >> we want the people to know that we are disappointed and angry that this happened. we do know that everyone on the island was affected in some way. we understand that. we are committed to providing
the public with a good notification system. we do understand that there is a short window for us to inform the public, and for them to respond. we would certainly encourage the public to follow the -- the recommendations, if this should happen, to get inside. stay inside, and get informed, because that's what they need to do. we have already taken action to make changes to assure that this doesn't happen again. we will continue to work through that process. we will identify other procedures and opportunities that we can put into place to ensure that this doesn't happen again. >> we're still -- [ inaudible ] between national news and now this. this has got to hurt the entire state as far as reputation? >> you know, certainly we have,
as the general had been saying, we have been balancing the interests of the public and providing a notification system in light of the world that we live in today, and that there is a possibility of a ballistic attack. so we believe that it's in the best interests of the public to have a system of notification that we can provide notice, should an event occur. it's very, very unfortunate that a false alarm was issued today, and we will take action to assure that the false alarm never happens again. >> and you're confident that you -- you have this sort of taken care of? >> yes. absolutely. >> to clarify, one individual who was clicking a mouse button and sent out this mass notification, and there is a separate individual who triggers the sirens? what is the communication between those two systems so that if it were a real deal, as you mentioned, first the alert
goes out, then the sirens would turn on. what's to make sure that that process is, in fact, the integrity of that, has been preserved? >> actually, those two people are sitting side-by-side. >> okay. >> okay. so -- it would be simultaneous. >> which is why some sirens did not go off? because that person knew immediately it was a mrs. tamis? >> i believe that to be the case. we're looking into a report on what happened. what the fixes will be and the way ahead is going to be. >> one of the challenges as a member of the media is we did not have access to information right away. what procedures, what policy, will now change as people turn immediately to the internet, turn their tvs on, put on the radio, to try to get credible, clear information? >> the process is, again, getting that cancellation notice out as soon as possible with that, with the new template we have in there and, again, for a
false alarm. we have to make sure we have clear lines to the media. all the stations through our public information people to get a simultaneously out. that has to be worked on and tested again. >> you talked about the challenge of getting that second manual alert draft ared and pushed out. had it -- had this scenario that a false alarm could potentially have gone out and that you would need to have a quick turnaround with another push alert, had your agency not considered even this scenario? even this possibility before it happened? >> as far as the final template and we're now -- this message is a false alarm that one. that was not put in yet. that was done manually and it's going to be in the future. >> why wasn't that -- >> why isn't that template not there? >> like i said, again, this is on me. our focus was getting notification out to the folks. as far as the false alarm, i did not focus on getting that template in there. >> given the public is understandably shaken up and
understand you're saying this is human error, but it begs the question whether or not there was enough information what people should do if this was, in fact, a real ballistic missile attack. if you could take this time now, these are the questions we'll be answering over the next couple of days. specifically what do you do if at home, on the highway, in the elevator of a high-rise hotel or building, what are the steps you should take? >> these are very, very good questions. public outreach, we've been going over, on and on and on. town hall meetings. capital briefings and so on. again, get inside. stay inside, and stay tuned. if you're -- every person should know ahead of time. when we say shelter in place, if something like this triggers again. where do i go? driving to work, where do i go? walking, where do i go? same, same all the way through. all members of your family, you take shelter in place you don't
have to worry about your family because you know what they're going to do. we put on our website and outreach and material we have, gives you idea what type of slelt er shelter to look for. radiation, time, distance and barriers. get away from the radiation. get inside far as you can. put concrete between you and the radiated area and get inside of your building away from glass. on the highway, stop your vehicle. if you can't go anyplace, get down to the bottom of your vehicle or get out of your vehicle, if you have time, 13 minutes. get into a high-rise or concrete building close by. again, planning ahead of time so you know what you're going to do ahead of time. don't look for a shelter in place when it's inbound. again, i regret what happened this morning, but it's brings awareness up to speed again of what to expect and what to do. what to expect and -- that's what we do at emergency management. get the information out to the
public. >> how long have you been doing this ballistic missile checklist? >> started when about we did the first silent test. november 1st. >> three time as day? >> three times a day but not mandated. a routine test for the new shifts coming on. we've been doing this since about november, with no problems until today. >> and could you explain again how this could possibly happen with one person and anyone can say yes and now taking the action to have two people and both get the same -- do you still want to do this? both of them get this? how would this work? >> the entire staff will get this. two individual people that do this. the person that puts it in and it says verification, do you really want to do this? another person will do it. >> another person will say, yes. >> will the other person actually push the button for the first sarins? >> one person pushes both. >> what was the text for?
>> the same individual for both. >> the sirens -- the siren is a separate thing. again, your question about, why someone other is -- i need to find out about that. as i understand, one or two. not the entire state. i have to follow-up on that. >> not initiated up here in this office. >> sorry. we do really want to make sure we clarify this. we've gotten multiple reports including video sent in of sirens. >> going off, yes. >> most of them in proximity of the military bases. we were later told there is a chance that the military may have manually triggered their own sirens. is that -- >> so we -- if you have information about where locations, where sirens went off, we welcome that information. we will be going, the sirens should not have gone off. it was not part of this test. the fact that some sirens were triggered is information to us and we definitely want to know
which sirens were triggered so we can follow up about why that occurred. >> again, to clarify -- it's a completely different individual who would have been responsible for issuing the siren alert? than the individual who pushes or clicks the mouse button to issuous the mass alert? >> that's correct. >> [ inaudible ]. >> everybody -- wgoes through te training. >> you mentioned three minutes between going out and the cancellation. why does it take three minutes for the alert, to cancel the text? >> this was, talking about the -- >> it went out at 8:10. you said 8:13, the cancellations were further discriminated. if you just push it and can see immediately it went out, why does it take three minutes to -- >> a couple things if you look at the timeline. we -- consolidated information from different individuals.
so if you look at the timeline, the three-minute difference obviously is, i got notification. general logan got noivgds. notification. obviously, he's using his resources to confirm. just as i am doing what i can do to confirm. the people in the -- in the alert center here have -- don't have that information. so certainly they were not aware immediately that they had issued an error. right? so they're sitting in the access point, and then the phone goes off, and they are starting to try and understand. so they definitely, there was a period of time that they were not aware that they issued an error, and it took them a couple minutes to verify that. general logan, when he got the alert, called pacom, because he understands what the explicit
process is, to very, whether there was, in fact, a launch or not, and obviously, he went through his protocol and confirmed that there was no launch, and then he responded to the people that he -- he called me. he called others, to inform them that, yes, in fact, the alert was in error, and we began the process to inform the public. >> so on your own employee didn't realize they had triggered this until they received the mass communication on their mobile device? >> -- yes. >> did you ask why he said, yes, i want to do this? >> we asked someone, why did you make a mistake? it was not intentional. it was a mistake. asking him why he made a mistake? he knows it. >> yeah.
if we can talk about now the safeguards in place to again work towards building back integrity your department clearly needs, an island state, we face real danger. not just from the possibility of a ballistic missile but tsunami, hurricane. so many other things to be more readily prepared for than other communities. what are the now safeguards in place, clearly, to prevent a potential mistake from happening again. >> a couple things. we have suspended the tests so the routine activities will be suspended until we can implement appropriate changes. as i said, we've already implemented some of the changes to ensure that more than one person is involved with that. we definitely learned that some of the notifications some of the sirens did not work. and we need to understand what that is. you know, on a going-forward basis, we do intend to continue the monthly siren tests and
other tests as we have done in the past. you know, we believe that it's imperative that we continue to exercise the alert system. we recognize that this false alarm is a terrible thing to happen, and we have implemented changes already to ensure that it doesn't happen again. we will further refine the processes as we go forward to make sure that we can put in better safeguards to prohibit this from happening. >> how many personnel does it take to run the 24/7 operation? >> right now we have, for the, the manning we have here, three to four people in eight-hour shifts. >> make that additional, additional staffing? or -- maybe look at fatigue as part of the problem? >> not at this time. three to four personnel is -- is pretty substantial for us.
>> is there a plan to put more messaging than just what's in place, in the initial message? a lot of people have said there was a lack of information in the initial message and to those who may not have heard the other information or the public -- is there a way -- more information than that message that goes out. >> we'll take a look at that. again, there's a limit in the number of space put in the message, and that will be done over the past months is to -- coordinate a message with pacific command as far as what data we can put in for them and what can be put out. again, it's getting ahead -- if you're going to rely on guidance on that one message, that's not enough. you have to get ahead of it and go to your website and see what the guidance is in the past. that gives you a pretty good idea what to can do. >> there are people that travel here and will not get those briefings and not know, be aware of that kind of knowledge. is there any plan to make them aware of that possibility?
>> yes. when we say -- public and visitors, and work with tourism agency and work to get this message out to, to the visitors also. >> we did. soon as we got the messaging we reached out to all stakeholders, to get -- at the hilton, already had an action plan in place and notified all visitors. all hotels did that. i mentioned earlier, it's always -- we're an island and always preparing to some type of disaster and the hotels take it very, very seriously as well as the activities people making sure that not only the visitors are safe but the residents as well that work in why kiki. >> waikiki. >> and notifies all the guests what they need to do -- >> absolutely. >> shelter in place. >> absolutely. and they talk to each other. >> have you notified the
guests -- within that time frame, 12 minutes, get that initial notification, how would you notify guests? >> i would have to talk to them specifically, but they told me they assured me. they had a drill in place even when i talked to jerry about not only the employees but all the residents getting down into shelters and what have you. they have an action plan in place. >> and do you worry about -- [ inaudible ] this can take potentially? >> i said we're very, very concerned this even happened but are confident with the dialogue going on it won't happen again. sure, our stakeholders were very, very concerned about that. it's too early to tell any collateral damage. all morning, with global partners, reassuring them, this was a mistake. it won't happen again. that we are open for business. and the senior of tourism authorities, speaking with the governor of hawaii and vern
miyagi, administrator of the hawaii emergency agency, retired general talking about a mistake made this morning, their estimation. general me yauch yaiyagi says h this is my team. a several times daily test, apparently. testing out the emergency warning still. a lot of questions there, as you heard, an the sirens that followed that subsequently. and my colleague at msnbc is in honolulu above waikiki beach and had time yesterday to tour the facilities. the room in which this test could have been done. the notification triggered. what did you hear when touring that facility? what folks there at hawaii emergency mct had to say about how this was supposed to happen? vern and others saying a two-click process and somebody clicked yes when he shot have clicked no?
>> reporter: that's right, david. i was with vern plea yamiyagi. the frontline officials from the emergency management department in the very room where this false alert was sent from. two big take aways. the governor says they will suspend all further tests of the emergency alert system until further notice. until they're able to do an after-action report. something brian schatz, senator from hawaii said on our air earlier when i had the opportunity to ask him about that. he called for that. and also, vern miyagi, administrator of the agency, effectively made a very large mistake today said immediate change in protocol. two people will be in the room at all times when these tests take place, where the alerts are sent there. on the left of the screen, footage we took from inside the very room where that accident happened today. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
that area is staffed. this is not a drill, we have an incoming ballistic missile to actually go out is a call from pacom. pacific command of the u.s. military supposed to go into that room and then these men and women that staff the room are supposed to send out not only the text alert, the television alert and sirens. one other thing i want to say to you, davids, about supposedly sirens being sounded across the island. we didn't hear sirens on this side of the island. on the waikiki side. there are 394, telling you throughout the day, sirens throughout the state of hawaii. sounds as if a line of questioning to vern miyagi and the governor, the military may have sounded their own sirens. it throwed a terrifying experience on the i lund. seeing changes put into place on the state level. the question will be once congress holds hearings about this, the u.s. military is able
to weigh in, is this responsibility going to rest in the hands still at the state government here of vern miyagi and the people who work for him inside diamondhead crater a stone's throw away from where we are now. >> thanks for your time. and kov covering the pentagon here. ask about the military response, the role of the military calling for an alert like the one we got today. walk us through the chain of events as it's supposed to happen and your sense of what went wrong? >> reporter: the pentagon is not really saying what went wrong. they're deferring to u.s. pacific command and beyond that, letting the hawaii civil authorities there respond to what happened here. i mean, walking through exactly how the process is supposed to work. the u.s. military would detect some sort of a missile being launched somewhere in the world. most think talking about hawaii or guam, a threat would be coming from north korea.
they detect it, u.s. strategic command and u.s. northern command. make a very quick determination about the potential trajectory and potential area where it could impact and that's when the calls start going out. there's a conference call initiated, missile defense conference call, includes high-level people. secretary of defense, james mat is, chairman of joint chiefs general joe dunford and then, of course, the white house. they determined exactly where it could, any potential missile could be hitting. and what needs potentially to be done about it. at that point, if there was a missile that was determined to be going towards hawaii with potential to impact hawaii, that's when u.s. pacific command would reach out to hawaiian civilian authorities to let them nope of the threat to inform the public. i took out of the press conference, a big question in my mind, of course, covering national security you automatically think when something like this happens, it
could be a mistake, also more nefarious behind it. someone who -- able to hack into the system somehow? someone who did this intentionally with malicious intent? just to cause some sort of chaos? which, of course, ensued. of course, we heard there there was one individual, a man, who made this mistake and we heard he feels very badly for it. i'm sure that more about that will come out in the ensuing investigations and the timeline. i suspect they'll have to take a serious look at the process that is involved once they are -- once these alerts go out and how they can send out a follow-on. >> read from a statement. secretary mat is, secretary of defense, fully briefed on the incident and is confident and the department of defense detections system, clear early on this was a false alarm. retired general mccaffrey joins
us, happens to be in hawaii. nbc news analyst. as i listened to the press conference unfold, what stood out, the timeline. a compressed timeline. 38 minutes in total. what do you make of the way that this unfolded now that you've heard from hawaiian officials? >> i think they're still extremely confused about what happened. there actual will were scrolling warnings on local tv reiterating the push notification on the iphone. it was on local tv delayed. in addition, there was a suggestion made that the hotels had their own internal system. no such warning took place. there are thousands of visitors here in this beautiful resort i'm in that it was well over a half hour before any explanation came out. so one of the follow-on journalistic questions has to be where were the warnings to
hospitals, to the airport, that they unload planes, to police stations? there obviously have to be implementing instructions with a rehearsal. that obviously doesn't yet exist in hawaii. >> go ahead, please. >> yes. this is sort of a hard one. if there is a 250 kt thermonuclear weapon that hits the island of oahu, the last thing we need to be worried about is civil defense or work measures. we have to make sure this conversation stays on early detection of north korean launch, and enhanced protection systems. they need thaad missile systems near hawaii along with patriots and the systems aren't in place that are needed. >> general mccaffrey, i want to ask about the changes,
implemented since this mistake happened this morning. among them more redundancy. one person couldn't click twice to make it happen. from the administrator of the hawaii emergency management system, is that enough? what more do you think needs to happen here? is this something that should be in the purview of the state government of hawaii? >> well, first of all, i'm confident that the states should handle civil defense. there are thousands of different situations. so counties and states and cities ought to have their own internal system. that's the right way to go. you can't have the federal government doing it. but i must admit, throughout the entire control system on u.s. nuclear weapons, we have several systems in place. one's called the two-man rule. so there's no time at any point dealing with a nuclear weapon,
where two people must separately initiate an action and they're physically separated from one another. so when he talked about one screen and one person, that is appalling to me. there ought to be two red buttons, covered with plastic shields, that are separated by 25 feet, like in a nuclear missile silo of the u.s. air force. i don't think they've yet grappled with what they're facing. this was a busted play today and a lot of good can come of it, by the way. the other states need to study what happened and learn from it. >> retired general barry mccaffrey who happens to be in hawaii. much more on this to come in a moment. this is msnbc.
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resulted in a push alert being sent to folks in hawaii, indicating a ballistic missile was headed to the state. that was erroneous. joining me now, author of the book "nuclear showdown." i want to ask you about something vern miyagi said. when he saw the alert, it had to be false, because the tensions were not there. we've seen so many tests back and forth. did you feel similarly when you saw this? that this could not be possibly real? >> shehe's certainly correct. you have the south and north koreans talking to each other next week. the north koreans are going to the winter olympics next month. so the north koreans were not going to launch a missile anywhere until the paralympics are over. >> as you watched all of this unfold, i wonder what you thought. we heard from courtney kube, saying, yes, we're hearing from officials in hawaii that that was a mistake. but she said there was the
possibility that something more nefarious could have been going on. given that, what's your take-away of what happened here about the potential seriousness of something hilike this happening? >> we were fortunate that hawaii a is a sparsely populated state. at this moment, in lincoln financial stadium, there 69,100 fans. in the middle of that game, if a cell phone alert went out, it could have been a disaster. it's lucky it was not in philadelphia. and so we got the time to learn from this, as a number of people have said. it's not just hawaii learning. it's all the states, all the territories. because at some point, we very well may have a real situation. >> naveed jamali, let me ask you to react to the reaction. we heard from lawmakers in washington saying, they were trying to figure out if it was real or not. there was no clear system of how this was supposed to unfold. we've not heard from the president of the united states yet today. what do you make about how convoluted the response has been
at the federal level? >> it really worries me. if you look at the history of nuclear weapons and some of the close calls from the height of the cold war to even after, in 1995, you'll find, this is how it unfolds. there's conflicting reports in a short time period someone has to sift through the information and make a decision as to what is happening, is there a nuclear attack. so far we've been very lucky. in the cases when something like this has happened. what we saw today in hawaiicya sma -- is a small version of what's happened at the federal level. but it's important to have rational and reasonable people at the tiller making these decisions. >> naveed jamali, gord on chang thank you. after hearing the news conference talking about what transpired this morning, evidently a test gone wrong. there was a shift change, and where there should have been
where do you start? where do we start? i will start by telling you right off the bat that senator kamala harris is our guest tonight. she's going to be here live. senator harris does not do a lot of interviews. there of course is fever pitch speculation that she will be a serious contender for the democratic presidential nomination in 2020. she's right in the middle of the immigration fight that led to this -- this week's latest he said what nightmare involving this president. senator harris is here with us live tonight in just a couple of empties. you' -- couple of minutes. today at the white house, they tried to announce something about the iran nuclear deal. they were try