White House explains delay in firing Flynn

White House explains delay in firing Flynn

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer on Tuesday accused former acting Attorney General Sally Yates of being a "political opponent of the president" because she informed the White House that then-National Security Adviser Michael Flynn lied about his contacts with Russian Federation.

After warning the White House, Yates was sacked on January 30 for refusing to comply with an executive order barring travel from seven predominantly Muslim countries on the grounds thatthe ban was unlawful.

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

Strip down Spicer's argument about why Trump didn't act on Flynn for 18 days after the first Yates-McGahn meeting, and you are left with this: They dismissed or downplayed what Yates told them because they viewed her as a political enemy.

President Trump has now fired three USA law enforcement officials who, at the time of their firings, were investigating his presidential campaign or administration.

"This was a problem because" it "created a compromised situation" where the national security adviser "essentially could be blackmailed by the Russians". Flynn's Russian Federation ties are also being scrutinized by the FBI as it conducts a similar investigation.

At the White House counsel's request, Yates had arranged for him to see the evidence against Flynn on Monday, Jan. 30.

Yates is not on record as a vocal Clinton supporter.

More news: Russia, Syria blast USA strikes targeting anti-Daesh forces

Meanwhile, the U.S. administration fiercely denied Trump's contested travel ban deliberately single out Muslims during an appeals court hearing Monday - despite the president's campaign call for a blanket Muslim ban.

When pressed, Trump's top spokesman conjured only this in the way of evidence: He said it was "widely rumored" that Yates was a proponent of the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee, and expected to have a major role in a Clinton administration.

"One thing that I think is important to note is, let's look at, again, how this came down", Spicer said.

Did she campaign? Make any public statements?

Later in the same briefing, Spicer was asked whether the White House placed Flynn under any additional restrictions between Yates' warning and his eventual ouster.

Clapper qualified his earlier statement that he knew of no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation - a point House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes has used to exculpate Trump.

What happened in the 18 days between when the White House received a warning about Flynn and his firing?

Still, in the short term, the testimony of Yates likely means another lost day ahead for the White House as it uses up time and political energy brushing off a new round of questions and allegations about ties to Russian Federation. He said then she informed the White House counsel's office that there were materials relevant to the situation involving Flynn.

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