Napolitano backtracks on 'system worked'

Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano
Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano | License Photo

WASHINGTON, Dec. 28 (UPI) -- U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano backtracked Monday on earlier comments the U.S. air safety system "worked."

Napolitano, appearing Monday on NBC's "Today Show," explained comments she made Sunday regarding an incident in which a Nigerian man allegedly ignited an incendiary device aboard a U.S. jetliner on Christmas Day were "taken out of context."


During a Sunday appearance on CNN's "State of the Union," Napolitano said "What we are focused on is making sure that the air environment remains safe, that people are confident when they travel. And one thing I'd like to point out is that the system worked."

That statement brought a harsh rebuke from U.S. Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., and other Republicans.

Napolitano told "Today" she was referring to the system in place to respond to threats once they've been discovered.

"What I'm is saying is that once the incident occurred, moving forward, we were immediately able to notify the 128 flights in the air on protective measures to take, immediately able to notify law enforcement on the ground, airports both domestically and internationally, all carriers," she asserted.

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