Spicer: Yates as 'Strong Supporter' of Clinton, 'Political Opponent' of Trump

Nick Mcbride
May 20, 2017

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer on Tuesday dismissed former acting Attorney General Sally Yates as President Trump's "political opponent".

The Trump administration fired Yates not long after, when she declined to enforce the president's Muslim ban, believing it to be unlawful. We also know that President Trump had more than sufficient reason to fire Flynn the next day for misleading Pence, but for some reason the president chose to let Flynn stay on for another few weeks, pushing him out only after the White House turmoil spilled onto the front pages.

Spicer said that he was "not aware of any" restrictions placed on Flynn's duties on the National Security Council between the period that Yates warned the White House and that Flynn was ultimately dismissed. 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. President Trump can be forgiven for ignoring her warning.

Needless to say, reporters are curious as to why Flynn was allowed to remain in a top national security role even after the Justice Department warned he had been compromised by the Russian government.

A strong supporter of Hillary Clinton?

Trump moved to distance himself from his former adviser's troubles Monday, tweeting that it was the Obama administration that gave Flynn "the highest security clearance" when he worked at the Pentagon.

Yates had an increasingly urgent series of talks with the Trump White House counsel, Don McGahn, starting on January 26. In the first meeting, Spicer said, Yates told the White House there were materials relating to the matter that Spicer said that the White House didn't obtain until February 2. The first executive order was crafted nearly exclusively by White House staff with very little input from the agencies that would be responsible for implementing and enforcing it (even after it took effect, airport officials across the country were unclear about how it was supposed to work).

What happened in the 18 days between when the White House received a warning about Flynn and his firing?

"Director Clapper reiterated what everybody, including the fake media already knows - there is "no evidence" of collusion with Russian Federation and Trump", the president said. Republicans have seized on that statement as vindication for the Trump campaign, but investigations are ongoing.

Yates said Monday that she met with the White House counsel in the days after the inauguration to alert him that the Justice Department had information showing Flynn's account of the calls was not accurate. Spicer made clear that Flynn served this country with distinction and that the White House had no desire to re-litigate what Flynn may or may not have done.

"[Yates] had come here, given us a heads up, told us there were materials, and at the same time we did what we should do", Spicer said.

Other reports by VgToday

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