After Yates, more questions for the Trump White House

After Yates, more questions for the Trump White House

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.

He said Trump "made, ultimately, the right decision" to fire Flynn in mid-February after a thorough review. "He stands by it", Spicer told reporters.

The White House on Tuesday stood by its decision not to tell former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates about its first controversial order barring USA entry to immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries, describing her as a "political opponent of the president".

Yates said Monday that she met with the White House counsel in the days after the inauguration to alert him that the Justice Department had information showing Flynn's account of the calls was not accurate.

Spicer added that he was not aware of any security restrictions placed on Flynn after the warning. He had lied to the Vice President Mike Pence about the content of his conversations with the Russian ambassador, and the Russians knew he had lied.

In a series of tweets on Monday evening, Mr Trump doubled down on his stance.

As Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., said to Yates, "Without that published report, and without the free press telling us a lot of what went on, Michael Flynn might still be sitting in the White House as national security adviser, because by January 30th, you were forced to resign, correct?"

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QUESTION: How is she a political opponent of the president?

It remains unclear if the White House planned to take action before leaks to the press exposed the Flynn scandal.

The presence of her co-witness, Washington veteran and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, also had the effect of bolstering Yates' comments. "To state the obvious, you don't want the national security adviser compromised by the Russians".

Yates was appointed Deputy Attorney General under President Barack Obama, but had previously been appointed by President George W. Bush to serve as United States Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia.

Also scheduled to testify is James Clapper, the former director of national intelligence who attracted attention for a March television interview in which he said that he had seen no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation at the time he left government in January.

"I think the process worked, frankly, when you think of the time in which we had the information", Spicer said during the press briefing.

"Let's look at the timeline", Spicer said. That was why they ignored Yates's warning, why Trump ignored Obama's warning, and only fired Flynn once the media made Flynn's being compromised by the Russians a big story. The first executive order was crafted nearly exclusively by White House staff with very little input from the agencies that would be responsible for implementing and enforcing it (even after it took effect, airport officials across the country were unclear about how it was supposed to work).

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