White House: Yates was a 'political opponent of president'

Sally Yates

Yates, appearing before a Senate panel investigating Russian interference in the election, described discussions with Don McGahn, the Trump White House counsel, in which she warned that Flynn apparently had misled the administration about his communications with Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador. Earlier this year, Flynn had resigned after it turned out he had lied to Vice President Pence about conversations with a Russian ambassador.

President Trump fired Flynn on February 13 because of his false statements to Pence. DHS warns Congress on phone security MORE (D-R.I.), who questioned former acting Attorney General Sally Yates during a Senate hearing on Monday, said Tuesday that President Trump's team is more focused on defending him than they are about national security.

"It wasn't until about seven days later that they had access to those documents", Spicer said.

"Have either of you ever been an anonymous source in a news report about matters relating to Mr. Trump, his associates or Russia's attempt to meddle in it the election?" asked Sen. And the White House also has blamed President Obama, whom they say originally vetted Flynn, and never mind that Obama also fired Flynn, and then explicitly and personally warned Trump about Flynn. Trump's detractors say it is beyond doubt that Muslims were the ban's intended target, but the administration says it is motivated strictly by national security concerns, an area where U.S. presidents have wide powers.

The Trump administration fired Yates not long after, when she declined to enforce the president's Muslim ban, believing it to be unlawful.

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

"[Yates] had come here giving a heads-up, told us there were materials, and at the same time we did what we should do", Spicer said. Flynn stayed on as national security adviser for the administration for 18 days after Yates first brought those concerns to the White House counsel's office.

Spicer frequently has chided the White House press corps for failing to ask more questions about the source of illegal leaks to the press.

She added: "To state the obvious, you don't want your national security adviser compromised with the Russians". "If President Obama was truly concerned about General Flynn, why didn't he suspend General Flynn's security clearance?" said White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer.

"We believed that General Flynn was compromised with respect to the Russians", Yates said Monday.

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