New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin said he’s feeling better about his city, he feels confident he has gotten the attention of Gov. Kathleen Blanco and President Bush, but he said he fears the Central Intelligence Agency may take him out because he’s been yelling at these officials.
He didn’t say it once. He said it twice.
Last night he told a reporter for the Associated Press: “If the CIA slips me something and next week you don’t see me, you’ll all know what happened.”
Today he told interviewers for CNN on a live broadcast he feared the “CIA might take me out.”
Nagin resorted to vulgarity and profanity yesterday in his pleas for help. But he was actually calmer today, despite the hyperbole.
Nagin said Bush gave him a “hearty” greeting and did not seem at all offended by Nagin’s earlier outburst.
“I do think the pleas for help basically got the nation’s attention, and the nation’s attention got everybody to stop and re-evaluate what was going on, including the president. … He basically said, ‘Look, our response was not what it should have been and we’re going to fix it right now.'”
Nagin said evacuation has been hampered by officials’ difficulty grasping where state authority ends and federal authority begins and he said he very frankly urged Bush and Blanco to get a clear chain of command straightened out immediately.