'Flynn was compromised by Russia'

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Yates was asked in that White House meeting whether Flynn should be fired, and she said "that really wasn't our call", according to her testimony Monday. Flynn's identity to her, and who leaked that identity to the media?

President Barack Obama personally warned Donald Trump against hiring Michael Flynn to serve as his national security adviser, three former Obama administration officials said Monday, underscoring the depths of the outgoing White House's concern about the man Trump would ultimately fire.

"That created a compromised situation, a situation where the national security adviser essentially could be blackmailed by the Russians".

Spicer said that after Yates informed them of Flynn's conduct, McGahn and his associate "reviewed the situation" and "informed the president right away".

He added that Flynn was sacked because he misled Vice President Mike Pence about the calls, not because the calls themselves were inappropriate. Could he see the underlying evidence collected in Flynn's interview?

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Flynn was forced to resign after it was alleged that he discussed the sanctions imposed on Russia by President Obama in a phone conversation with Russian Ambassador Kislyak.

"You don't want the national security adviser to be in a position where the Russians have leverage over him", she said.

Flynn's lawyer, Robert Kelner, declined comment when reached by CNN Monday.

That's an assessment that's looking increasingly detached from U.S. intelligence officials.

Though there are those - including Trump himself - who've continued to try to muddy the waters and distract attention from the real issue, the facts of the matter, at least those that are known, are quite clear.

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A White House official later told CNN that the administration plans to rebut Yates by employing two strategies: calling into question her objectivity by arguing she is a partisan Democrat and questioning the time-line of events she is expected to present.

Testimonies of two key former officials before a Senate committee that is investigating alleged Russian interference in the US presidential election previous year brought the issue into sharp focus again even as President Donald Trump termed the ongoing inquiry a "taxpayer-funded charade".

She said she was briefing the Trump White House so that officials could take "the action that they deemed appropriate" and that she believed the Russians already had the same information.

The quoted tweet from Trump's account said: "Director Clapper reiterated what everybody, including the fake media already knows- there is "no evidence" of collusion w/ Russian Federation and Trump". Clapper also said he was unaware there was an FBI investigation into Russian collusion until FBI Director James Comey announced it in March.

But he went on to say that there was no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government. Republicans seemed intent on getting to the bottom of who did.

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And Texas GOP Sen. Yates then cited a more recent law, which she said specifically did not allow Trump to issue that executive order. She rebutted him by pointing to a later court ruling that supported her argument that she had a greater duty to protect against discrimination and uphold the Constitution.

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