Obama's Russia Ambassador Doubts Sally Yates' Blackmail Claim About Michael Flynn

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"I think if you flip this scenario and say, 'What if we had just dismissed somebody because a political opponent of the President had made an utterance?' You would argue that it was pretty irrational to act in that manner", Spicer said in his daily briefing. "He stands by it", Spicer said.

Instead, he chose to play up former director of national intelligence James Clapper's acknowledgement during the same hearing that he was not aware of any evidence of collusion between the president and Russian Federation, which American intelligence has concluded tried to sway the United States election in Mr Trump's favour. Yates detailed her own warnings to the Trump White House about Flynn, including meetings with the White House counsel in which she said that discrepancies over Flynn's contacts with the Russian envoy left him vulnerable to blackmail by Moscow.

Spicer added that he was not aware of any security restrictions placed on Flynn after the warning.

The controversy began during the transition period when Flynn spoke over the phone with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

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On Monday, Trump spent much of the day tweeting about Yates, accusing her, among other things, of leaking classified information, though without presenting any evidence about such a claim.

As Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., said to Yates, "Without that published report, and without the free press telling us a lot of what went on, Michael Flynn might still be sitting in the White House as national security adviser, because by January 30th, you were forced to resign, correct?"

So how - short of a time machine - can something that happened four days after Yates' conversation with McGahn be used as evidence of why the White House was right not to trust what Yates was saying about Flynn?

Trump said in a press conference three days after Flynn resigned, however, that when he looked at the information provided to him about Flynn's conversations with Kislyak, "I said, 'I don't think he did anything wrong".

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- 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.

"Director Clapper reiterated what everybody, including the fake media already knows - there is "no evidence" of collusion with Russian Federation and Trump", the president said. "She had come here, given a heads" up, told us there were materials, and at the same time, we did what we should do.

Early on in the race for the Democratic nomination, Carter said he believed former secretary of state Hillary Clinton would get the nomination "because money dominates, and she has an inside track to the massive amounts that are going to pour into the Democratic Party side".

President Trump fired Flynn on February 13 because of his false statements to Pence. He's dismissed FBI and congressional investigations into his campaign's possible ties to the election meddling as a "hoax" driven by Democrats bitter over losing the White House. Trump was notified immediately of Yates' concerns about Flynn. These untruths, she warned, could potentially open the National Security Adviser up to blackmail by the Russian government.

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