Washington, Apr.29 (ANI): A furious President Barack Obama has ordered an internal investigation into a photo-op featuring the presidential jet that sent thousands of New Yorkers running for their lives.
White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said Tuesday Obama was "furious" when he heard about the incident and has ordered a deputy chief of staff of find out "why that decision was made and to ensure that it never happens again."
The 747 plane, with an F-16 escort following close behind, circled the Statue of Liberty and the skyline near the World Trade Center site for about a half-hour. Offices were evacuated. Emergency call centers were inundated.
Witnesses reported that the planes were flying dangerously low.
Only military personnel were aboard the 747, Gibbs said. The photo-op cost 328,835 dollars, which includes personnel, maintenance and fuel costs, according to the Air Force, which said the hours would have been flown regardless and the expenses accrued on a different mission.
But the site evoked memories of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and left White House Military Office Director Louis Caldera accepting responsibility and apologizing late Monday for permitting the exercise that infuriated New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who had not been alerted to the flyover.
Obama, who was meeting with FBI Director Robert Mueller and other senior officials at the FBI on Tuesday, called the photo-op "a mistake."
One White House official told FOX News that all future photo-ops with the Air Force One backup plane have been banned, but another White House official would not confirm to FOX News that a reported flyover of Washington, D.C., with the U.S. Capitol as a backdrop scheduled for May 5-6 had been scrubbed. (ANI)