White House was warned Flynn at risk of blackmail
- Author: Leroy Wright May 12, 2017,
May 12, 2017, 16:08
Former acting attorney general Sally Yates told a Senate subcommittee Monday that just days after the inauguration of Donald Trump, she warned the White House about national security advisor, Michael Flynn. But they asked Mr Flynn to resign after news reports indicated he had lied about the nature of the calls.
Flynn denied that they had discussed American sanctions, an assertion echoed by Vice President Mike Pence and the White House press secretary, Sean Spicer.
She testified to that effect on Monday, and Spicer said Tuesday that the White House basically agrees with what she said. NBC News broke the story early Monday that former President Obama warned Trump about Flynn when the Trump visited the White House just days after winning the election.
Former acting Attorney General Sally Yates (R) and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper testify on May 8, 2017, before the US Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.
After a subcommittee hearing Tuesday on Russian Federation meddling in the 2016 election, Sen. "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. "And that includes investigating the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government - and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia's efforts". That's because the White House wanted to make sure "we were doing the right thing".
Trump acknowledged in February that Yates contacted him about Flynn, but said that after reviewing the information she gave him, it didn't "sound like [Flynn] did anything wrong".
Yates briefly led the US Justice Department until Trump fired her on 30 January for declining to defend his travel ban on seven Muslim-majority countries.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Tuesday Michael Flynn's brief stay in the White House ended after the proper protocols were followed, dismissing suggestions Flynn was only fired after his dealings with Russian Federation became public.
The White House defended the 18 day wait time between a "heads up" about former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn's liaison with Russian Federation and his firing - calling it "due process" done right - and questioned former acting Attorney General Sally Yates' partisan motives.
In a joint statement, Senators Richard Burr, the committee's Republican chairman, and Mark Warner, its top Democrat, said the committee had first requested the documents from Mr Flynn in a 28 April letter, but the retired lieutenant general had declined, through counsel, to cooperate with the committee's request.