Former Trump security aide was Russian Federation blackmail risk: ex

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Obama had warned Trump, then president-elect, not to give the post of national security adviser in his administration to Flynn just after the Republican's surprise victory in the November 8 election, a former Obama aide said.

Spicer, the White House press secretary, said Yates had come to the White House on January 26. He said Flynn's security clearance had been renewed in April 2016, and the Obama White House had not stepped in to revoke it. She told the committee that she sought to meet with White House officials as "a matter of some urgency" after seeing the intelligence intercepts.

The Senate now in the middle of an investigation into the potential ties between Donald Trump's campaign and Russian operatives, so to add extra emphasis to his claims that there was no collusion, the president temporarily changed his Twitter header image to one of his tweets about the case.

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"President Donald Trump called Clapper's comments a full dismissal of potential collusion and dismissed the entire issue outright in the series of tweets after the hearing, referring to information from the day's events as "old news", "a total hoax" and "#FakeNews!".

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Yates told a Senate Judiciary subcommittee hearing she had been concerned that "the national security adviser essentially could be blackmailed by the Russians".

Whitehouse, the ranking member of the Senate subcommittee, suggested that the Trump administration had ignored Yates' information because they wanted to avoid damaging Trump's reputation. General Flynn worked as the head of the Military Intelligence Agency (DIA), until he was sacked by President Barack Obama in 2014, reportedly because of his chaotic management.

After being asked multiple times if the White House took any steps to reduce Flynn's role or access to classified information after receiving Yates' warning, Spicer finally said, "I'm not aware of any".

A senior Trump administration official acknowledged Monday that Obama raised the issue of Flynn, saying the former president made clear he was "not a fan of Michael Flynn".

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He said Yates was appointed by the Obama administration and that she was "a strong supporter of [Hillary] Clinton".

The simmering controversy over Russia's alleged meddling in last year's U.S. election returns to the spotlight Monday, with a former top Justice Department official set to testify on links between President Donald Trump's advisers and Moscow. Once again, he categorically denied his administration has anything to do with Russian Federation.

Trump's press secretary Sean Spicer said in response 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.

The pair spoke several times over the next two days, with McGahn asking Yates how Flynn had fared during an interview with the Federal Bureau of Investigation earlier that week - she did not answer - and why it was the concern of the Justice Department if White House officials had misled each other.

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