Former official says she warned White House about Flynn

Sally Yates says she warned White House that Michael Flynn could be ‘blackmailed’More

Monday's revelation from Obama administration officials came hours before former acting Attorney General Sally Yates and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper testified before a Senate panel investigating the Russian election interference. Both said they had but could not go into detail.

- During her appearance before a Senate Judiciary subcommittee, Sally Yates was asked about her refusal to enforce President Trump's initial travel order while she was acting Attorney General.

The White House was warned that Donald Trump's national security adviser Michael Flynn "could be blackmailed" after apparently lying to his bosses about contacts with Russian officials. Since it was a Friday, Yates said she would consider it over the weekend.

According to the New York Times, on December 29, 2016, Michael Flynn spoke with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

At issue is whether Flynn improperly indicated to Kislyak that the Trump administration would ease or reverse economic sanctions that President Barack Obama had imposed on Moscow in retaliation for Russian interference in the US presidential campaign.

She was sacked four days later by the Trump administration.

President Trump fired Flynn on February 13 because of his false statements to Pence.

It's astounding that if Trump had all these signals flashing about Flynn, he appointed him to one of the most sensitive spots in the USA government - and left him there for almost three weeks even as some of his own advisers became concerned.

Earlier this year, Trump forced Flynn, a retired three-star Army general, to step down when he found out that he had misled the White House about his conversations with the Russian ambassador to the United States.

Spicer said that if Obama "was seriously concerned" about Flynn's connections to Russian Federation or other foreign countries, he should have withheld Flynn's security clearance.

"If Mr Obama was truly concerned about General Flynn", the White House press secretary told reporters, "why didn't he suspend General Flynn's security clearance, which they had just reapproved months earlier?" The AP interviewed a host of former USA officials, most of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity in order to discuss sensitive national security information.

Trump wants people to believe that what Yates said on Monday was old news.

Donald Trump has hit back angrily over new claims about his former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who resigned amid controversy over his links with Russian Federation.

Trump ignored Obama's advice and tapped Flynn for the top White House national security role.

Spicer explained that there was an 18-day delay between Yates first meeting with McGahn and Flynn's firing because the White House needed to offer Flynn "an element of due process".

"At no time did I ever submit a request for personal or political purposes, or to voyeuristically look at raw intelligence, nor am I aware of any instance of such abuse by anyone else", Clapper said.

He also asked her whether Flynn might be subject to criminal prosecution, Yates recalled.

Trump noticed his mistake nearly an hour later and deleted his original tweet and posted another one with the correct word, "counsel". Trump has dismissed the probe, as well as separate investigations by the FBI and the House of Representatives, and has repeatedly said his campaign had no ties to Russian Federation.

Graham asked Yates whether she had any information about whether there was collusion between members of the Trump campaign and Russian Federation.

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