Published: Fri, May 19, 2017
National | By Rosalie Gross

5 new things we learnt from Sally Yates Testimony about Michael Flynn

5 new things we learnt from Sally Yates Testimony about Michael Flynn

Sean Spicer on Tuesday defended the White House, following remarks former acting Attorney General Sally Yates had made during a congressional hearing a day earlier about former National Security Adviser Gen. Michael Flynn's conduct and the Trump administration's handling of the allegations about him.

White House officials, including Vice President Mike Pence, had insisted that Flynn had not discussed USA -imposed sanctions with Kislyak during the presidential transition period. Trump responded with an angry tweet, aimed at Yates, accusing her of leaking the details of Flynn's conversations. "To state the obvious, you don't want your national security adviser compromised with the Russians", Yates testified. All of the testimony confirmed statements made by the Trump administration as the President reverted to his previous claims of "fake news".

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.

In March Clapper told "Meet the Press" that as DNI, he had seen no evidence of collusion between Russian operatives and the Trump campaign team.

Ms Yates was sacked as acting Attorney General by Mr Trump over the unrelated matter of her refusal to defend his first attempt at a travel ban, which would have restricted travel from seven majority-Muslim countries.

Yates detailed her own warnings to the Trump White House about Flynn, including meetings with the White House counsel in which she said that discrepancies over Flynn's contacts with the Russian envoy left him vulnerable to blackmail by Moscow.

Yates said the discrepancy could open up Flynn to blackmail from the Russian government, since they would know the full conversation.

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Law enforcement sources told the Press Association Richard Rojas said he had been hearing voices at the time of the incident. In previous arrests, he told authorities he believed he was being harassed and followed, one of the police officials said.

Yet he nonetheless maintained - to Vice President Mike Pence, even - that he hadn't talked to the Russian ambassador about sanctions.

Spicer said Trump "welcomes" any inquiries into his business ties to Russian Federation because he "has no connections" there.

Washington is still reeling this morning after hearing from the former Justice Department official who blew the whistle on President Trump's first National Security Advisor.

Donald Trump has been accused of trying to intimidate a witness who was set to testify at a hearing about possible Russian interference in the United States election.

Republican Sen. John Cornyn said her actions with regard to the executive order were "enormously disappointing" and accused her of undermining the powers of the President because she disagreed with Trump's order "as a policy matter". The warning, first reported by NBC News via former Obama aides, came up during a discussion of White House personnel.

The Senate Russia investigators may have maintained the air of being the adults in Congress investigating Russia's interference.

Both Clapper and Yates were asked if they had been the source of or had authorized any leaks to the media of classified information.

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