White House victim of ‘swatting’ – fire trucks, EMS vehicles dispatched over fake 911 call

Pranking “Brandon” reached a “dangerous criminal” level Monday when the president became just the latest high-profile target of an apparent “swatting.”

On any given day, gaffetastic President Joe Biden’s typical behavior is enough to wade him into a tide of relentless punchlines. However, on Monday morning, as over a dozen emergency vehicles were dispatched to the White House, the commander-in-chief wasn’t even home to experience firsthand the potentially serious consequences of a false report to 911.

Reporting on the incident, CNN producer and reporter Betsy Klein shared on social media, “Another troubling, dangerous swatting incident this AM: A caller falsely told 911 that the White House was on fire and someone was trapped inside. A significant emergency response [with] multiple @dcfireems units dispatched in the 7a hour before it was determined to be a false alarm.”

Further indicating that the president had spent the weekend at Camp David ahead of a trip to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to participate in an event observing Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Klein noted, “Dispatch radio audio from the incident indicates multiple DC fire engines and medical responders were sent to the scene. ‘Fire in the White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue,’ dispatcher says at 7:04 am. The situation was described as ‘all clear’ at 7:15 am.”

CBS News’ Sara Cook specified that 13 units representing Washington, D.C.’s Fire and EMS had been sent to the chief executive’s residence, before adding an official statement from their Chief Communications Officer Noah Gray.

“At approximately 7:03 a.m., the Office of Unified Communications (OUC) received a 911 call for structure fire at the White House. At 7:04 a.m., DC Fire and EMS was dispatched and in coordination with the United States Secret Service, it was determined there was no fire emergency. All companies returned to service at 7:16 a.m.,” stated Gray.

While instances like the president getting pranked into saying “Let’s go, Brandon,” a colloquialism recognized to mean “F*ck Joe Biden,” are considered harmless fun, and satire poking fun at public figures has a long-standing tradition in American culture, “swatting” was described by CNN as “a dangerous criminal hoax where a false report is made to police with the express purpose of luring them to a location…This can result in a forceful response from local police and SWAT teams, who have no way to know the call is a hoax.”

An uptick in the practice, which also puts members of the community at risk as resources are diverted away from responding should an actual emergency occur, saw Republican lawmakers and familiar figures across right-leaning media fall victim to the practice.

This included Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene and New York Rep. Brandon Williams who were swatted on Christmas Day while Florida Sen. Rick Scott, George Washington University Law School professor Jonathan Turley, and John Paul Mac Issac, the one-time possessor of Hunter Biden’s infamous laptop, were each victims in the days that followed.

ABC News reported that when officials attempted to reach someone from the number where the call originated, the person denied responsibility, “indicating [the number] was likely spoofed.”

As word of the White House swatting got around, so too did incredulity as, even in Biden’s America where days earlier a vehicle had slammed into an exterior gate of the residence and, separately, Hamas sympathizers had triggered an evacuation, it remained difficult to believe that the president could fall prey to such an attack.

Kevin Haggerty


We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, profanity, vulgarity, doxing, or discourteous behavior. If a comment is spam, instead of replying to it please click the ∨ icon below and to the right of that comment. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain fruitful conversation.

Latest Articles