Finally, a piece of good news from Washington.
Federal Emergency Management Agency Director Michael Brown has been removed from his role in managing the Bush administration’s Hurricane Katrina relief efforts and is returning to Washington.
Brown was replaced by Coast Guard Vice Adm. Thad W. Allen, who was overseeing New Orleans relief and rescue efforts.
Asked if he was being made a scapegoat for a federal relief effort that has drawn widespread and sharp criticism, Brown told the Associated Press: “By the press, yes. By the president, No.”
That’s right, Brownie, keep spinning.
As recently as last Friday, Bush praised his efforts, saying: “Brownie, you’re doing a heck of a job.”
And less than an hour before Brown’s removal came to light, White House press secretary Scott McClellan said Brown had not resigned and the president had not asked for his resignation, according to a report from USA Today.
But there were recent signs that Brown’s status was about to change.
At yesterday’s White House briefing, this exchange occurred between a reporter and McClellan:
Q So if the President still has confidence in the FEMA Director, how is it that the FEMA Director is suddenly invisible? No briefings, nowhere out front, it’s all gone to Secretary Chertoff.
McCLELLAN: I think he’s going to brief later today. I think he’s briefing later today.
Q Brown is?
But when Vice President Dick Cheney received a briefing in New Orleans on Thursday on recovery efforts by FEMA and other governmental agencies, it was Allen — not Brown — who led the briefing, according to USA Today.
This article first appeared at Journalists Against Bush’s B.S.