White House warned Michael Flynn was 'compromised'


On Monday, former acting Attorney General Sally Yates told Congress that, just days into the Trump presidency, she warned the White House that Flynn had lied to hide private meetings with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

Sally Yates, who was briefly the acting USA attorney general earlier this year, told White House counsel Don McGahn on January 26 that Flynn had not been telling the truth about his contacts with Russia's ambassador to Washington.

In December, before Trump assumed office, Flynn talked to Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak about potentially lifting US sanctions President Barack Obama had just levied on Russia.

"To state the obvious, you don't want your national security adviser compromised with the Russians", Yates explained.

President Donald Trump changed his Twitter banner image on Monday to include a tweet from himself referencing former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper's Senate testimony on the Russian Federation investigation. Trump acknowledged in February that Yates contacted him about Flynn, but said that after reviewing the information she gave him, it didn't "sound like [Flynn] did anything wrong".

Yates testified at a Senate Judiciary subcommittee hearing that focused primarily on Flynn, and did not shed much light on other aspects of investigations of allegations that Russian Federation meddled in the 2016 USA election and whether there was collusion between President Donald Trump's campaign and Moscow.

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One of them was former acting U.S. Attorney General Sally Yates owning Sen. Hours later, NBC News reported that Flynn withheld information from the Defense Intelligence Agency when the Obama administration renewed his security clearance in April 2016. "And that created a compromise situation, a situation where the national security advisor essentially could be blackmailed by the Russians".

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

But McFaul, who has been heavily critical of President Trump and Flynn, wondered how a Russian blackmail operation against Flynn would have actually played out.

"Let's look at the timeline", Spicer said. "He stands by it", Spicer said. However, what we do have proof of and what we do know is illegal-the leaked the phone conversation about Flynn and who authorized Flynn's name be "unmasked" and then leaked-is of little interest to the media.

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.

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