What Sally Yates knew
- Author: Leroy Wright May 11, 2017,
May 11, 2017, 10:00
We had two concerns.
Meanwhile, during Mrs. Yates' testimony, President Donald Trump was instructing via Twitter the members of the Senate subcommittee what questions to ask the former US Attorney.
"Lt. Gen. Flynn remained national security advisor for 18 days after you raised the Justice Department's concern". He pushed back on Yates' comments addressing the firing of Michael Flynn as Trump's national security adviser.
Trump's press secretary Sean Spicer said in response that if Obama "was seriously concerned" about Flynn's connections to Russian Federation or other foreign countries, he should have withheld Flynn's security clearance. "White House officials tell me Trump himself has clashed with McMaster in front of his staff". "But we took him through in a fair amount of detail of the underlying conduct, what General Flynn had done, and then we walked through the various press accounts and how it had been falsely reported". However, even after Flynn was sacked he was granted permission to give a paid speech in Moscow, and his security clearance was subsequently reauthorized by the Obama administration following that Russian Federation visit in late 2015.
"Given the importance of the job, the President through there were better people for it, and that Flynn wasn't up for the job", a former senior Obama administration official told CNN Monday.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer cited baseless office gossip to attempt deflect from the Trump administration's failure to remove Michael Flynn after they were made aware he posed a national security risk.
A day after Flynn was sacked, Spicer spent most of his daily briefing responding to questions about the 18-day delay.
Flynn was asked to resign on February 13 for misleading Pence about a phone conversation with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.
"There simply is no avoiding the compelling fact that this cascading situation demands the prompt appointment of an independent Special Counsel to pick up the pieces of these investigations", he said.
On January 26, Sally Yates, then acting attorney general, met with White House Counsel Donald McGahn to warn him that Flynn could be compromised by the Russians.
"The bottom line here, I want to know how it got to the Washington Post", said Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.
Also scheduled to testify is James Clapper, the former director of national intelligence who attracted attention for a March television interview in which he said that he had seen no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation at the time he left government in January. And he said he had not been aware of the FBI's investigation of contacts between Trump associates and Russian Federation that FBI director James Comey revealed weeks ago at a House intelligence committee hearing.
Both Yates and former director of national intelligence James Clapper, who testified alongside Yates, said they weren't the ones that unmasked Flynn or leaked it to the press.
Clapper said Comey's March 20 testimony was the first he heard of the FBI investigation.
"We have been very clear as to what happened and why it happened".
Cruz argued that the Office of Legal Counsel had issued a determination that the order was legal, but Yates said that finding ignored the First Amendment in favor of an obscure statute that had since been updated.
As Yates explained to Cornyn, "all arguments have to be based on truth, because we're the Department of Justice".