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

The multi-hour Senate hearing where former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper testified Monday about the firing of former national security adviser Michael Flynn shed some light on the chain of events, but key questions remain.

Yesterday was the first time that the public heard the story directly from Yates on her surprise upon hearing that Vice President Pence and other senior White House officials denying that Flynn, in his December conversations with Russian ambassador Kislyak, had discussed anything of substance such as, say, sanctions. She told the committee that she sought to meet with White House officials as "a matter of some urgency" after seeing the intelligence intercepts. In several responses, Spicer painted Yates, also fired by Trump, as an enemy of the president who was made deputy attorney general by Barack Obama.

"It wasn't until about seven days later that they had access to those documents", Spicer said. This development comes after former president Barrack Obama [official website] said he had warned Trump not to hire Flynn [NYT report].

Yates testified that she told the White House that the Russians also knew what Flynn had done and that he had misled the vice president and others.

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However, Flynn stayed in office for 18 more days, and was sacked after the news broke publicly in mid-February. "After that time, they did what you should do frankly - is an element of due process".

Yates answer was that you don't want your National Security Adviser compromised by the Russians.

Spicer said. "There were steps that they could have taken that - if that was truly a concern".

Mr Trump hit back by dismissing suggestions that his team colluded with Russian Federation as a "hoax", and calling the congressional investigations into Russia's interference in the United States election a taxpayer- funded "charade".

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"I think if you flip this scenario and say what if we just dismissed somebody because a political opponent of the president had made an utterance, you would argue that it was pretty irrational to act in that manner", Spicer said.

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". Ted Cruz when he asked her about the legality behind her decision to refuse defending President Donald Trump's initial travel ban, Sen.

Flynn was paid more than $30,000 for a Moscow trip in 2015, where he sat next to Russian President Vladimir Putin at a dinner celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Kremlin-sponsored RT television network, formerly known as Russia Today, and also more than $500,000 to represent Turkey.

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