Barack Obama Warned Donald Trump: Do Not Hire Michael Flynn

  • Barack Obama Warned Donald Trump: Do Not Hire Michael Flynn

Barack Obama Warned Donald Trump: Do Not Hire Michael Flynn

"I did my job", said Sally Yates told the Senate Judiciary Committee in a hearing Monday.

More substantively, her testimony to a judiciary subcommittee represented the latest incremental step yet toward a broader understanding of why so many links have surfaced between Trump world and Russian Federation. So Flynn has a lot of problems, and I think there are going to be several more twists and turns in this, you know, in terms of him appearing before Senate committees and House committees and elsewhere.

Sen. Al Franken told the hearing: "Maybe, just maybe, (Trump) didn't get rid of a guy who lied to the vice-president, who got paid by the Russians (to go on) Russia Today, because there are other people in his administration who met secretly with the Russians and didn't reveal it... until they were caught".

(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File).

The testimony from Yates, an Obama administration holdover fired soon after for her refusal to defend the Trump administration's travel ban, marked her first public comments about the concerns she raised and filled in details about the chain of events that led to Flynn's ouster.

In a series of tweets, Trump said their testimonies were "old news".

For the first time publicly, Yates recounted to a Senate panel a January 26 meeting - and a follow up session the next day - in which she alerted White House Counsel Don McGahn that Flynn had lied to administration officials about his conversations with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak before Trump's inauguration, prompting McGahn to ask whether Flynn should be dismissed.

The February resignation followed media reports that Flynn had discussed US -imposed sanctions on Russian Federation with Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the presidential transition period, which was contrary to the public representations of the White House.

But all in all, we should not let established facts about partisanship in Obama's Justice Department cloud or overwhelm the substance of what Yates had to say; specifically, that the president's national security adviser had gotten seriously out of control and perhaps become susceptible to blackmail by a foreign enemy - namely, Russia.

Eighteen days after first learning of Yates's concerns, Trump fired Flynn, saying he no longer had confidence in having him as a key White House adviser.

The dossier on then Presidential candidate Donald Trump that contained scandalous allegations of purported ties to Russian Federation could not be verified by the United States intelligence community, America's former intelligence chief said Monday. She said McGahn called her back the next day to talk more.

Sean Spicer added that if Barack Obama's administration was truly concerned about Michael Flynn, then they could have suspended his security clearance.

Yates was an Obama appointee whom Trump asked to stay on as the temporary head of the Justice Department. "Finally, we told them that we were giving them all of this information so that they could take action, the action that they deemed appropriate", she said. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., said that if the information had never been made public, "Michael Flynn might still be sitting in the White House as national security adviser". Yates was sacked for that decision. "I don't know how many times we need to have someone like James Clapper testify there's no evidence of collusion before we stop asking the question".

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. Flynn served under Obama as defense intelligence chief before Obama dismissed him from that post.

House and Senate committees are now investigating Russian election involvement, as is the Federal Bureau of Investigation, but Durbin says there needs to be an independent probe that is free from politics.

The president also called ongoing FBI, House and Senate probes of Russia's alleged election meddling and possible ties to his campaign associates a collective "taxpayer funded charade". Neither Yates nor Clapper could say for certain that Russian Federation had colluded with the Trump transition team a year ago. After enough evidence was released by US intelligence officials, Flynn's spokesman released a statement that Flynn "indicated that while he had no recollection of discussing sanctions, he couldn't be certain that the topic never came up".