Biden calls swatting 'danger to society' after false alarm at White House

 January 17, 2024

The Biden administration said it will monitor "swatting" incidents "very closely" after the White House was targeted by a false alarm on Monday. 

The comments suggest that Biden could sign a new law to crack down on the growing trend of false police reports targeting public officials.

Swatting is a prank that involves making false reports of dangerous events in order to trigger a heavy police response at a target location.

First responders were summoned to the White House on Monday over false reports of a fire.

False alarm at White House

A fire was reported after 7. a.m, prompting a heavy emergency response at the White House. The issue was resolved minutes later when it became clear the report was a hoax.

There was no SWAT team, but a White House official said it was "in the same spirit" as a swatting incident.

At the time, Biden was away at Camp David and preparing to travel to Philadelphia for Martin Luther King Day.

Biden's press secretary told reporters Tuesday that the administration is keeping tabs on the trend of "swatting," saying it has become a danger to society.

"It is creating a danger and a risk to our society,” she said. “There are things that we’re going to monitor."

Public figures targeted

A number of high-profile figures from both sides of the political aisle have been "swatted" recently.

They include MAGA firebrand Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), two judges overseeing cases against Donald Trump in New York and Washington D.C., and Jack Smith, the federal prosecutor pursuing Trump.

Lesser-known figures have been targeted as well, such as the Delaware repairman who obtained Hunter Biden's notorious laptop.

Swatting has grabbed the attention of Congress. Republican Senator Rick Scott (Fl.) proposed a bill Wednesday that would crack down on swatting with stiff criminal penalties.

“Last month, criminals attempted a ‘swatting’ on my home in Florida in a despicable act of cowardice, clearly intending to terrorize my family and inflict fear and violence,” Scott wrote in a statement.

“This is happening around the nation, not just to elected officials, but also to hundreds of Jewish institutions. It’s sickening, dangerous and we must stop i

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