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Ex-FEMA Chief Brown: Saudi King Sends 'Message' to Obama

By    |   Monday, 11 May 2015 09:35 PM

The move by Saudi King Salman to skip an upcoming Camp David summit meeting of Arab leaders sends a clear message to the White House that the Saudis are unhappy, former FEMA director Michael Brown tells Newsmax TV.

"This is exactly how in diplomatic circles you send a message," Brown said Monday on "The Hard Line."

Story continues below video.


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Saudia Arabia announced on Sunday that the king would not attend after the White House touted his appearance as late as Friday. Other Gulf leaders have since said they too will send lower-level officials.

Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir and the White House have denied that Salman is snubbing the United States over concerns about America's role in protecting Arab states from a nuclear Iran. The Saudis say the Thursday summit now conflicts with a humanitarian cease-fire in the conflict in Yemen.

The Camp David meeting is essentially "for show," Brown told Newmax TV's Ed Berliner, but Salman had planned to attend and even had a private meeting scheduled with President Barack Obama in the White House ahead of the Camp David meeting.

"Rather than the king showing up, having some underling show up instead sends a clear message for the president . . . that we just don't trust you anymore, and so we're not going to give you the legitimacy that you want by having the king come," Brown said.

Turning to the claims by journalist Seymour Hersh that Obama lied about the details of the killing of Osama bin Laden, Brown said Hersh's writing sounded like a "smear job." Hersh used one anonymous source to back up his claims, Brown noted.

"We could all probably agree that the president probably did spike the football a little bit when it came to the [bin Laden] assassination," Brown said, "But let's be honest: in this situation, this is probably much ado about nothing, or it's just Hersh trying to sell books."

The former FEMA director said that as tornadoes and hurricanes are seen battering the country, it is probably true that the United States is not as prepared as it should be for natural disasters.

Still, he said, the growing amount of damage from storms can largely be attributed to population growth.

"As this nation continues to grow and we have a larger population, we have more buildings and infrastructures and everything out there, that when a tornado does hit, you're going to obviously have greater damage because we have more things to be damaged," he said.

"The thing that always concerns me is we go through these lulls where we haven't had a major hurricane for 10 years, so if we have an active hurricane season this year, you're going to have a lot of people caught with their pants down because of this 'it's not going to happen to me' kind of attitude," Brown said.

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The move by Saudi King Salman to skip an upcoming Camp David summit meeting of Arab leaders sends a clear message to the White House that the Saudis are unhappy, former FEMA director Michael Brown tells Newsmax TV.
Michael Brown, Saudi, Salman, summit
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2015-35-11
Monday, 11 May 2015 09:35 PM
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