CNN Presses Snyder On Failure To Listen To Top Aide Who Said Flint Residents "Getting Blown Off By Us"
CNN's Poppy Harlow Also Points To July 2015 Email By Snyder's Chief Of Staff To Challenge Claim Snyder "Learned About" Water Crisis In October
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From the January 28 edition of CNN's New Day:
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CNN CORRESPONDENT POPPY HARLOW: The kids were being poisoned by the water they were drinking here. The EPA knew about it. Your spokesman, your former spokesman knew about it in July 2015 and sent an e-mail about it. And you didn't declare a state of emergency until January of this year. Why did it take so long?
MICHIGAN GOVERNOR RICK SNYDER: Actually, I learned about it in October. And I took action immediately then, offering filters, working with people on getting water, on doing water testing.
Again, we needed to do more, though. So, as soon as I learned about it, we took dramatic action.
HARLOW: Your former spokesman wrote an e-mail back in July of 2015. Here's part of it. "I'm frustrated by the water issue in Flint. These folks are scared and worried about health impacts and they are basically getting blown off by us."
You have said, since then, that you knew about that e-mail. And that you were made aware of that. Why not act then?
SNYDER: The experts came back from both the Department of Environmental Quality and Health and Human Services to say they didn't see a problem with lead in the water or lead in the blood.
HARLOW: Folks here did. They were getting rashes.
SNYDER: This is in --
HARLOW: Kids were having rashes. The water was discolored.
SNYDER: Let me finish, Poppy. I mean, that makes me feel terrible. I wish you would -- have done something different.
HARLOW (voice-over): As this scope of the crisis has grown, residents have rallied, demanding the governor step down.
(on camera): A number of the residents I've spoken with in Flint have said ultimately they want accountability. Governor, will you resign?
SNYDER: No. Again, I think it's normal that right action is, if you have a problem that happened from people that were -- you are responsible for, you go solve it. You don't walk away from it.