Sally Yates: Alarm about Russian blackmail led to warning on Michael Flynn

Bruno Cirelli
Mag 17, 2017

Yates' concern was that Russian Federation created a "compromise situation" where the national security adviser could be blackmailed.

When asked during the hearing whether Flynn had lied to Vice President Mike Pence about the nature of his contact with the ambassador, Yates said, "that's certainly how it appeared, yes".

Obama gave the warning in an Oval Office meeting with Trump two days after the Republican's surprise November 8 election win. On Monday, Trump spent much of the day tweeting about Yates, accusing her, among other things, of leaking classified information, though without presenting any evidence about such a claim. And just as needless to say, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer is refusing to answer any queries regarding whatever he was up to during that time. She declined to discuss the nature of that conduct, but press reports indicated that Flynn and the ambassador talked about US sanctions against Russian Federation.

She said she was briefing the Trump White House so that officials could take "the action that they deemed appropriate" and that she believed the Russians already had the same information.

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) on May 8 said "President Trump has long pursued business deals in Russian Federation".

It didn't seem like the most promising venue for memes, but yesterday's Senate committee hearing on Russian influence in the 2016 election provided two of them nevertheless.

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. 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.

He also sought to undermine Yates by calling her "a strong supporter" of Trump's 2016 opponent, Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonSpicer: Flynn deserved "due process" in face of "political opponent" Yates" warnings Trump team plans to release video of Clinton's concession call Ingraham: Dems want to put Yates "on Mt. Rushmore' MORE.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Monday.

Ms Yates, who was sacked on Jan 30 after defying Mr Trump over his contested travel ban, did not say what Mr Flynn discussed with Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in a number of phone calls last December, which were secretly monitored by USA intelligence. Trump fired Flynn when news broke of his conversations with Russian Ambassador to Kislyak.

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