White House defends its reaction to Yates' warnings

Michael Flynn at the White House in Washington

Michael Flynn at the White House in Washington

She also said that her office informed the White House of this 18 days before Flynn was sacked.

What was his role at the White House in those 18 days? Mr. Flynn resigned as NSA on February 13.

In all, Yates said, she spoke to the White House counsel three times about the dangers of continuing to give Flynn sensitive secrets and power.

"We were giving them [White House officials] this information so they could take action". 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 sacked for that decision.

"But also more importantly, for the discussion today about Russian Federation, [she was] really laying out that this was just not a heads-up she gave the White House". "I think the president made the right decision, and we've moved on".

Yates appeared once again in the face of the Trump administration when she testified at a Monday hearing created to explore any collusion between the Trump administration and Russian Federation. Yates said on Monday that, because Flynn had mischaracterized his communications with the Russians, her office concluded that he was susceptible to blackmail by the Russian government.

The Trump administration, including vice president Mike Pence, had repeatedly insisted that the former US Army general had not discussed American sanctions in conversations with the Russian ambassador to the US.

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Flynn was sacked in February for lying to Vice President Mike Pence about his discussions with Russia's ambassador. She said McGahn asked about the applicability of criminal law.

"Kind of a stretch", he said of Yates' claim.

First, she said, "the underlying conduct that General Flynn had engaged in was problematic in and of itself".

I do believe that the Russian ambassador was under surveillance by the Intelligence Community, they captured that conversation between a transition team member, and that conversation winds up in the Washington Post for political purposes.

Ms Yates said: "We felt like it was critical that we get this information to the White House, in part because the vice president was unknowingly making false statements to the public and because we believed that General Flynn was compromised with respect to the Russians".

Yates testified about two events -on January 26 and 27- where she came to the White House to speak with its counsel Don McGahn. "Imagine what Republicans would say if a President Hillary Clinton retained as national security adviser a person who could be blackmailed by Moscow".

In April, Flynn sought immunity from prosecution in return for testifying, but his request was denied.

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