Fired by Trump, former acting AG to testify on Russian Federation

Fired by Trump, former acting AG to testify on Russian Federation

Former acting attorney-general Sally Yates, a Barack Obama appointee sacked by Mr Trump early in his presidency, took the stand alongside former director of national intelligence James Clapper during Monday's hotly anticipated three-hour hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Just two days after the election, Obama urged President-elect Trump not to rehire Flynn, whom he once fired from the Pentagon.

Spicer said that after the White House first viewed the evidence and materials on February 2, which were first flagged by Yates on January 26, there were various meetings and discussions that took place leading up to the request for Flynn's resignation on February 13. Well, some Republican senators are fixated on who leaked details about the Flynn matter to the press, and the practice of "unmasking" USA citizens caught up in foreign surveillance-that is, how we learned about Flynn's dealings with Russian Federation. "To state the obvious, you don't want the national security adviser compromised by the Russians". He's also accused Obama officials of illegally leaking classified information about Flynn's contacts with Kislyak.

Spicer's description of the McGahn meetings, and explanation for the delay, diverged at several key points from that of Yates and other former senior Justice Department officials.

"That created a compromise situation, where the national security adviser could essentially be blackmailed by the Russians", she said.

There was plenty of evidence about Flynn long before Yates's briefings, indeed Flynn's questionable relationships had been in the news for a year, even as Flynn was one of the most omnipresent Trump supporters, frequently at Trump's side during the campaign.

No doubt White House spokesman Sean Spicer and Trump himself would much rather be talking about the House vote to repeal Obamacare last week or the President's debut foreign trip in a couple of weeks.

Spicer, the White House press secretary, said Yates had come to the White House on January 26.

He more or less said he'd heard that there were "rumors" Yates would be selected to work in a Clinton administration, which meant - to him - that she was a Clinton supporter and "opponent" of Trump's.

He said Yates was appointed by the Obama administration and that she was "a strong supporter of [Hillary] Clinton".

"Director Clapper reiterated what everybody, including the fake media already knows - there is "no evidence" of collusion w/ Russian Federation and Trump", Mr Trump said. Republicans have seized on that statement as vindication for the Trump campaign, but investigations are ongoing. Rice, a longtime target of Republicans, declined because her attorney said the invitation came late and without bipartisan consent.

So how - short of a time machine - can something that happened four days after Yates' conversation with McGahn be used as evidence of why the White House was right not to trust what Yates was saying about Flynn?

- Matt Viser (@mviser) May 9, 2017Spicer won't detail why Trump kept Flynn on the job for 11 days between WH seeing Yates evidence & Flynn axing but "we did the right thing".

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