President Obama “Furious” to Hear of Plane Incident

By Theresa Cook

Apr 27, 2009 5:48pm

A White House official tells ABC News that President Obama was "furious" to hear about the incident this morning when Air Force One and Air Force fighter jets appeared to be flying into the Manhattan skyline, scaring many New Yorkers into thinking they were about to face another terrorist attack.

Many buildings in lower Manhattan evacuated. Angry New York politicians lashed out at whoever was responsible for the incident — which turned out to have been for a photo op.

An explanation was forthcoming in a mea culpa statement issued from the White House.

“Last week, I approved a mission over New York," Louis Caldera, director of the White House military office, said. "I take responsibility for that decision. While federal authorities took the proper steps to notify state and local authorities in New York and New Jersey, it’s clear that the mission created confusion and disruption. I apologize and take responsibility for any distress that flight caused.”

When President Obama was told about the incident, he was "furious," a White House official says.

Caldera was called into a meeting with White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel and deputy chief of staff Jim Messina.

"It didn’t sound like a fun meeting," the White House official says.

- jpt

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