Ex-FEMA head: Gov't didn't tell all on Katrina

Five years after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, a former federal official at the heart of a firestorm over Washington's slow response is acknowledging the

EDISON - Five years after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, a former 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.

On Aug. 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina slammed into New Orleans and killed more than 1,800 people. New Jersey was quick to respond, sending volunteers and rescue crews into the area.

AP wires contributed to this report.

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