Former AG Yates tells Senate she warned of Flynn vulnerability

Michael Flynn at the White House in Washington

President Obama's ambassador to Russia and a former director of Central Intelligence Agency operations in Russia are casting doubt on former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates' claim that former national security adviser Michael Flynn opened himself up to blackmail by the Russian government. "I think the president made the right decision, and we've moved on".

Spicer was asked about the Flynn matter at the top of the briefing, and he used the opportunity to clear up some facts.

Three days later, for reasons unrelated to Flynn, Trump fired Yates for refusing to defend his travel ban on individuals from seven Muslim-majority countries. Flynn had denied discussing with Kislyak the subject of USA sanctions on Russian Federation for the November election interference, but high-ranking Federal Bureau of Investigation and DOJ officials had recorded conversations between Kislyak and Flynn.

He said Yates was appointed by the Obama administration and that she was "a strong supporter of [Hillary] Clinton".

Spicer added that he was not aware of any security restrictions placed on Flynn after the warning.

The specifics of the conversation - or conversations - that Flynn had with Russian Ambassador Sergey Lavrov have not been publicly disclosed.

"General Flynn was given the highest security clearance by the Obama Administration — but the Fake News seldom likes talking about that", Trump wrote on Twitter Monday morning.

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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?" Trump has since repeated the allegation that the 44th president ordered surveillance of him and his campaign associates, again without any evidence.

Asked how he knew that, Spicer said "it was widely rumored" that Yates would "play a role in the Justice Department" if Clinton had won.

Flynn had multiple contacts with Kislyak during the transition, including an in-person meeting at New York's Trump Tower that was also attended by the president's son-in-law, Jared Kushner.

"Sally Yates has a almost three-decade record of public service as a prosecutor at the Department of Justice, where she steadfastly and consistently followed the facts and the law", he said.

"President Obama's former Director of National Intelligence and his former acting CIA Director have both said they have seen no evidence of collusion".

"Somebody came over, gave us a heads up, told us there were materials", he said.

The problem with that explanation is this: Yates talked to White House counsel Don McGahn about Flynn being compromised by the Russians on January 26 and January 27.

What exactly did Flynn say to the Russian ambassador to the United States?

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.

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