Former FEMA Director on Brian Williams Katrina Tales: ‘I Call B.S.’

AP Photo/Evan Agostini
AP Photo/Evan Agostini

Former FEMA Director Michael Brown called “B.S.” on embattled NBC anchor Brian Williams’s claims that he saw a dead body floating outside of his hotel room during Hurricane Katrina.

Williams, who lied about having been shot down in a helicopter at the beginning of the Iraq War and may have fibbed about having dodged Hezbollah rockets, claimed that he looked out his hotel window in the French Quarter and watched “a man float by face down.” Brown said the French Quarter saw “inches” of flooding compared to “feet of water” in the lower areas.
“That’s not the kind of flooding that was the problem in New Orleans, which is where we’re talking about breaches of levies, we’re talking about 6 feet, 8 feet, 10 feet of water,” Brown, who directed the agency during Katrina, told the International Business Times. “So for Brian Williams to smugly talk about looking out his French Quarter window and watching a body float by? I call B.S.”

Brown said he “would never say there’s no chance” that a body could have floated in the French Quarter, but asked to “envision” what Williams is saying:

You are sitting in the French Quarter. You’re not in the Ninth Ward, you’re not in the poor parts of the city, you’re not in the areas that were flooded where people had hundreds of thousands of dollars in value in homes next to a levy, where the water is in the third and fourth floors of the homes. You’re sitting in your robe, in a French Quarter hotel, looking out your window and claiming you see a body float by? Give me an effing break.

Williams also claimed that he had dysentery, but Brown said that he has “never heard, never heard, of dysentery in Hurricane Katrina, anywhere. Biloxi [Mississippi] all the way to the Texas border, I never heard of one case of dysentery.”

“If you truly have dysentery, you’re not standing up in front of a camera, in front of national news people, giving a report and then going back and sitting on the commode or hunched in your bed for the next five hours and then get up and do it again,” he told the Times. “If you truly have dysentery, you’re down and out.”

Williams has also claimed that his five-star hotel was overrun by gangs and that he was even planning to barter for his life with vienna sausages. But those “stories” are curiously never mentioned in his Katrina diaries.

NBC News is investigating Williams, the face of its news division, and his history of fabrications.


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