Here's what Scotty McMessage McClellan had to say on Friday about Mike Brown:
Go ahead, Helen.PS. You're Fired Mr. Brown. Any one who knows about hiring and firing will realize that Mr. Brown was probably given an option - quit or be fired. It's all the same thing. Indeed.
Q It's a non-Katrina question, so I'll defer if --
MR. McCLELLAN: Can we stay on Katrina and then I'll come back to you?
Q Yes. MR. McCLELLAN: I'll be glad to. Go ahead.
Q Has Mike Brown resigned?
MR. McCLELLAN: I'm sorry?
Q Has Mike Brown resigned?
MR. McCLELLAN: No.
Q Has the President asked for his resignation today?
MR. McCLELLAN: No. Q Does the President have full faith and confidence in Mike Brown?
MR. McCLELLAN: Again, what we are continuing to do is to support those in the region who are carrying out the operational activities. We continue to appreciate the work of all those who have been working round-the-clock. As I just mentioned, I think what you need to do is look at the overall situation. There are phases to this response effort, and we've been in immediate needs phase for some time here now, for just over a week now, focusing on the life-saving and life-sustaining missions. And Secretary Chertoff has continued to visit the region, continued to assess things. The President has continued to assess things. And Secretary Chertoff is the one who is overseeing all the operational aspects. And so he's the one who's making all the decisions about how to allocate resources and to allocate people. And we support the decisions that he makes.
Q But you're not answering the question, which is, does the President have confidence in Mike Brown?
MR. McCLELLAN: No, I think that's the way to address the overall question. We appreciate all those who are working round-the-clock, and that's the way I would answer it. ...
...Q There's a Time Magazine report now that there's a discrepancy in Mr. Brown's resume. Can you at least tell us whether or not the administration has looked into the Time Magazine report that there's a discrepancy in Brown's resume or not?
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, I think that FEMA, Mike Brown's office, has put out a statement in response to that, and they disputed the article.
Q Scott, quick question on 9/11 -- 9/11 is around the corner on Sunday, and the President is still fighting this terrorism and still getting high marks around the globe as far as terrorism is concerned. And there was no (inaudible) terrorist attack on the U.S. and also little terror around the globe. My question is that, how is the President going to do different or to say that (inaudible) -- now say victory over terrorism now, after four years?
MR. McCLELLAN: No. The war continues. The war continues. And the President is continuing to move forward on our strategy, which is to take the fight to the enemy, fight them overseas so we don't have to fight them here, and to spread a hopeful ideology based on freedom and democracy.
Q Scott, one on Warren's question. I mean, there's been several stories the past few days -- senior-most FEMA people, whether it's Brown or several of the others that have been named in the stories, have a lot of Bush campaign experience, not as much management experience. Does the President feel confident he's got the right people and the right type of people at each level --
MR. McCLELLAN: I think there are over 2,000 -- I think there -- and I'll have to double check this, but over 2,000 people at FEMA. And those are people that have been working round-the-clock, as of late, in response to Hurricane Katrina. And then there's obviously a small number -- 20, maybe, something around that -- that are considered the political appointees. And in terms of structure, FEMA falls under the Department of Homeland Security, and Secretary Chertoff is the Homeland Security Secretary.
Q Scott, but don't the -- Q Scott, they're not giving the media the information we need to get out there.
MR. McCLELLAN: I need to move to other people's questions. Go ahead.
Q Thank you. Does the President support --
MR. McCLELLAN: Don't get so exasperated, we're continuing to brief you all.
Q No, we're not getting information on the debit cards. How do we tell people where to get them?
MR. McCLELLAN: No, that's -- there --
Q We're not getting information.
Q Does the President --
MR. McCLELLAN: They're continuing to put out information --
Q Can you just tell us, because we can't get it from them.
MR. McCLELLAN: Jessica, I'm going to go on to the next person. You don't need to get --
Q Who do we talk to? Where can we get the information?
MR. McCLELLAN: People are providing that information. I just provided you information that was put out by the Department of Homeland Security.
Q Does the President support his two fellow --
MR. McCLELLAN: You can get dramatic here, but the facts are that people are providing regular updates.
Q Just tell us where to get it.
MR. McCLELLAN: FEMA can provide you with information on the debit cards.
Q They're not. They're not. Our people on the ground are not getting it.
Q Scott, does the President --
MR. McCLELLAN: Tell me who they are we'll get them the information. Go ahead.
Brown had been was removed three days earlier from direct control over recovery efforts on the Gulf Coast as complaints mounted that he came to the emergency too late with too little.
In an apparent nod to critics who said the agency needed more expertise at the top, the White House announced that David Paulison, a veteran firefighter who runs the agency's preparedness division, would take over as acting director.
Fifty-four percent of Americans disapprove of Bush's handling of the response to Katrina, according to two polls released on Monday -- one by ABC News/Washington Post and the other by CNN/USA Today/Gallup.