White House cites rumor, innuendo in criticizing Sally Yates

Cameron Gross
May 19, 2017

Yates' questioning by a Senate panel investigating Russian interference in the presidential election was just one portion of a politically charged day that began with combative tweets from Trump and continued with disclosures from Obama administration officials about a private Oval Office conversation between Obama and his successor.

In March Clapper told "Meet the Press" that as DNI, he had seen no evidence of collusion between Russian operatives and the Trump campaign team.

The testimony by Yates, who was sacked on January 30 after defying Trump over his contested travel ban, confirmed reports that she had informed the White House early on of the justice department's concerns about Flynn.

Yesterday during a hearing on Capitol Hill, former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates also revealed that Flynn was vulnerable to foreign blackmail.

Former United States Attorney General Sally Yates testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee Monday afternoon, blowing the Michael Flynn-Russia scandal wide open.

Trump has repeatedly branded the issue of Russian interference "fake news" despite leaders of the USA intelligence community concluding that President Vladimir Putin himself was behind the meddling. "Just because somebody comes in and gives you a heads-up about something and says, 'I want to share some information, ' doesn't mean you immediately jump the gun and go take an action".

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In the hearing, former CIA Director James Clapper and Yates were questioned about evidence of possible collusion between Trump associates and Russian Federation. Hours later, NBC News reported that Flynn withheld information from the Defense Intelligence Agency when the Obama administration renewed his security clearance in April 2016. The president made, ultimately, the right decision and I think he was proven that - that - that.

Trump ignored Obama's advice and tapped Flynn for the top White House national security role.

Yates disclosed that she had spoken with McGahn about the matter on January 26 and January 27, adding that he had "demonstrated that he understood that this was serious". In subsequent tweets, the president claimed that the "Russia-Trump collusion story is a total hoax" and insisted, cryptically, that the "biggest story today" surrounding Yates' testimony is "on surveillance".

But Flynn, a retired lieutenant general, misled Vice President Mike Pence about the conversations, saying that sanctions were not discussed.

Yates said Trump's travel ban, which targeted several Muslim-majority counties, was "unlawful", and added, "All arguments have to be based on truth".

Other reports by BadHub

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