Fmr. FEMA head talks about Katrina response

President Bush listens to FEMA director Mike Brown, right, during a briefing on damage from Hurricane Katrina in Mobile, Al., Friday, Sept. 2, 2005. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

August 27, 2010 6:41:02 AM PDT
Five years after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, the federal official at the heart of a firestorm over Washington's slow response is acknowledging the government's shortcomings.

Former Federal Emergency Management agency director Mike Brown tells NBC's "Today" show "there was a disconnect" about what the Bush administration was saying about the situation, and how bad things actually were.

Brown said "there was a mentality in Washington which says you put the best face on everything." He said information given out by the administration was accurate, but "we never put it in context" with how much still needed to be done to lift the stricken city.

Brown is the man whom then-President George W. Bush famously praised publicly for doing a great job.