FEMA administrator Brock Long battled MSNBC anchors Stephanie Ruhle and Ali Velshi over misinformation regarding the crisis in Puerto Rico.
During the contentious interview, Long told Velshi and Ruhle that “just because [a rescue worker is] not in camouflage” doesn’t mean they’re aren’t there to provide relief. While Velshi and Ruhle compared the relief effort in Puerto Rico to Haiti, Long argued that the two aren’t comparable because one is a US territory and one is not–but even if they were comparable, there were double the number of administrators on the ground in Puerto Rico than there were in Haiti.
Long also got into it with the MSNBC anchors over misinformation about the Jones Act and whether or not FEMA charges storm victims for necessary goods.
“In terms of shouldering a burden on misinformation–when we look at the images, when we speak to people on the ground, it’s very hard for us to understand why Tom Bossart was saying, ‘well we didn’t need a three star general until day 8,'” cohost Ruhle said to Long.
“I would be happy to embed your cameramen with our crews,” Long offered. “And the other thing is, I would also appreciate if you could cover the Joint Field Office press conferences that have been happening every morning.”
Velshi chimed in at that point, claiming that the administration is blaming journalists for the slow relief effort.
“I’m not putting any blame on anybody or your journalists,” Long responded. “I’m just saying there’s a lot of information that’s been flying around–we’re trying to put out accurate information from FEMA as much as we can.”