Former AG Yates tells Senate she warned of Flynn vulnerability

Lauren Perry
May 14, 2017

After the hearing Monday, Trump claimed in a tweet that Yates said "nothing but old news".

The hearing came hours after Obama administration officials said former President Barack Obama also personally warned Trump against hiring Flynn during their November 10 90-minute closed-door meeting at the White House.

President Trump later fired Yates for refusing to enforce his travel ban.

Sally Yates, who was briefly the acting U.S. attorney general earlier this year, told White House counsel Don McGahn on January 26 that Flynn had not been telling the truth about his contacts with Russia's ambassador to Washington. According to intelligence officials, the two discussed sanctions imposed by President Barack Obama to punish Russian Federation for its efforts to interfere with the 2016 presidential election. She said Flynn's concealment about the exact nature of his Russian contacts had compromised his position.

The White House spokesman cast Yates' warning as a "heads up" and said the White House did not want to "jump the gun" in response to it.

Ms Yates' comments came after former Obama officials revealed that the outgoing president himself firmly warned Mr Trump against naming Mr Flynn as national security adviser, just two days after the Nov 8 election.

Republicans on the committee pressed Yates and Clapper on whether they leaked confidential information to the press or improperly unmasked the names of Americans.

"General Flynn was given the highest security clearance by the Obama administration", he said.

"I think the process worked, frankly, when you think of the time in which we had the information", Spicer said during the press briefing.

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Collins then asked how Yates was an opponent to Trump if she was the Acting Attorney General whom Trump chose to keep on.

"The vice president was unknowingly making false statements to the public and we believed that General Flynn was compromised with respect to the Russians", said Yates before the panel. Yates was sacked for that decision.

The hearing on Monday is one of multiple congressional probes into the Russian Federation interference, along with House and Senate intelligence panels.

The banner in question has now been taken down from Trump's Twitter page.

But McFaul, who has been heavily critical of President Trump and Flynn, wondered how a Russian blackmail operation against Flynn would have actually played out.

"Trump tweeted that there is "no evidence" of collusion between himself and Russian Federation, that Yates didn't reveal anything new during her testimony, that the investigation into collusion between Russian Federation and Trump is a "total hoax", and that the media should be reporting on surveillance instead, finishing off the string of tweets with the hashtag, "#FakeNews!".

He has dismissed FBI and congressional investigations into his campaign's possible ties to the election meddling as a "hoax" driven by Democrats bitter over losing the White House. What was of most interest to the senators was information regarding Trump's former national security advisor Gen.

The AP interviewed multiple former US officials, most of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity in order to discuss sensitive national security information. If Flynn was such a threat to national security, then why was his clearance reauthorized by Team Obama? Journalists and social media users have come out against Trump and Spicer's statements about Flynn and the Obama administration.

Other reports by VgToday

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