Trump's former national security adviser could have been blackmailed by the Russians, Yates tells the Senate.
Former acting Attorney General Sally Yates cast a harsh light on the White House on Monday, detailing how she had informed Trump administration officials that then-national security adviser Michael Flynn was susceptible to blackmail from Russia, only to watch President Donald Trump take 18 days to fire him.
“We believed that Gen. Flynn was compromised,” she testified at a highly anticipated Senate Judiciary subcommittee hearing. “To state the obvious, you don’t want your national security adviser compromised with the Russians.”
Yates said she warned White House counsel Don McGahn in late January that Flynn, a retired Army lieutenant general, had misled Vice President Mike Pence and other senior officials and that as a result, public statements by White House officials were inaccurate.
Yates’ testimony was the first time she has publicly addressed what has become a major controversy for the White House, given that Trump waited nearly three weeks after Yates’ warning to fire Flynn. By then, it had been reported in the news media that Flynn had misled Pence and other officials when he told them his phone calls with Russia’s ambassador did not include a discussion of sanctions. Yates said Russia was aware that Flynn had misled his colleagues and could have used that information against him.
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