Heckuva Job Brownie is having quite a day of testimony today.
Brown, who was later removed as FEMA head amid intense criticism of the federal response to the hurricane, said he notified Deputy White House Chief of Staff Joseph Hagin about the levee breach on Aug. 29, 2005.
“I think I told him we were realizing our worst nightmares,” Brown said of his conversation with Hagin….
Brown today added a new element: that he spoke directly to Hagin and may also have talked with White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card.
Joseph Lieberman, senior Democrat on the Homeland Security committee, asked Brown if he thought the message reached Bush. “If I’ve told Joe Hagin or Andy Card, I’ve told the president,” Brown responded.
White House spokesman Scott Mcclellan said he couldn’t comment on Brown’s statements because he hadn’t seen them. He said the Bush administration was far less concerned with the cause of the flooding than the flooding itself. (emphasis mine)
Really, Scotty? Is that why the President stayed on vacation, until forced to return to the WH by public disgust and outcry? Why he told Dianne Sawyer that no one could have anticipated the levee breach? Why the President said the next morning after Katrina that New Orleans had "dodged a bullet?"
Or are we seeing the leading edge of the White House spin line? Because the President travelling to share a birthday cake with John McCain, to talk about his failed Medicaid program, to get the gift of a new guitar, and then head back to vacation in Crawford for three days after Katrina hit land sure doesn’t seem like it was getting the job done for the residents of New Orleans or the Gulf Coast in hindsight, now does it? (ThinkProgress has a fantastic Katrina timeline, just FYI.)
Oh, and Scotty, maybe you could ask Karl Rove how things are going with him at the helm of Katrina reconstruction? Yeah, heckuva job there, Karl.
Here’s a thought: how about we do the work necessary to make things right for folks in the Gulf Coast, instead of playing duck and cover and pointing fingers? Folks down there are still living in mold-covered quarters, and having no idea whether their lives will ever be anything but upside down.
UPDATE: Reader Anon_1 points to another great Katrina timeline that Josh has on TPM. Thanks!
UPDATE #2: Crooks and Liars has some video up of Brownie saying that its awfully tough for Homeland Security to say they weren’t getting any information when they were having constant video conferences with him and others in FEMA. (And notice that Heckuva Job Brownie was sworn in to testify before the committee. I’m just saying.)