Domingo, 27 May, 2018

Spicer Calls Sally Yates a 'Political Opponent' of Trump

Trump White House knew Michael Flynn was possible Russian blackmail target for 18 days before firing him, Sally Yates tells Senate committee Obama warned Trump against hiring Flynn before inauguration
Eleena Tovar | 20 May, 2017, 00:58

If the Flynn story is an albatross around the administration's neck, the travel ban exemplifies just how disheveled, ill-prepared and petty the White House can be when Trump wants something done quickly.

"Kind of a stretch", he said of Yates' claim. "We told them that the vice president and others were entitled to know that the information they were conveying to the American people was not true".

Yates' comments came after former Obama officials revealed that the outgoing president himself firmly warned Trump against naming Flynn as national security advisor, just two days after the November 8 election.

It may also not be easy for the administration to discredit Yates.

Yates declined to say.

Mr Trump has repeatedly branded the issue of Russian interference "fake news" despite the United States intelligence community's conclusion that President Vladimir Putin himself was behind the meddling.

Alone, her appearance didn't prove much.

"This was a problem because not only did we believe that the Russians knew this, but that they likely had proof of this information". And their repeated calls for a special counsel they have no power to task often serves to stress the futility of their minority status on Capitol Hill. Trump said in a volley of tweets, possibly designed as a head-fake away from the substance of the hearing.

The subpoena comes as both the Senate committee and its counterpart in the House are investigating Russia's interference in the 2016 election and whether Trump associates colluded with those attempts to sway the election. Monday's hearing further pumped the bellows. Officials said McGahn viewed the material at the Justice Department.

Spicer said the decision to fire Flynn, who did not disclose his relationship with Russian Federation and the fact he gave a paid speech there in 2015, was the right one after all the information was reviewed.

Also scheduled to testify is James Clapper, the former director of national intelligence who attracted attention for a March television interview in which he said that he had seen no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation at the time he left government in January. "Clapper repeated his assertion today".

1, 2017, during the daily news briefing at the White House, in Washington.

Spicer frequently has chided the White House press corps for failing to ask more questions about the source of illegal leaks to the press. And Yates implied that Flynn misled the Federal Bureau of Investigation during a January 24 interview about his conversations with Kislyak. "The national security adviser essentially could be blackmailed by the Russians", Yates testified. The White House, Spicer explained, was skeptical of Yates because she was "not exactly a supporter of the president".

Yates former principal deputy, Matt Axelrod, who is now in private practice, disputed Spicer's characterization of Yates as a partisan, pointing out that she was confirmed as deputy attorney general on an 84-12 bipartisan vote.

The Trump transition team initially denied that Flynn had discussed the sanctions in his call with Kislyak.

"Focus on Russians having chance to "blackmail" Flynn is misleading". Yates said she read about the order in the newspaper.

Monday's hearing was also a master class by Democrats in the use of innuendo and suspicion to maximize the political damage to the administration. At McGahn's request, Yates returned on January 27 for further discussion.

On Monday, Sen. Ted Cruz criticized Yates for failing to enforce the ban after the Office of Legal Counsel signed off on the document. Flynn's Russian Federation ties are also being scrutinized by the FBI as it conducts a similar investigation.

"It is, yes", Yates replied.