News Worms
News Worms

Obama starts defining his new role in the age of Trump

In dramatic testimony Monday, Obama holdover Attorney General Sally Yates testified that she warned the incoming White House its newly installed national security adviser, Michael Flynn, was "compromised" by a lie and therefore a potential "blackmail target" of the Russians. She confirmed reports that she had told the White House, six days into Trump's administration, that Flynn, a former military intelligence chief, had not been honest with Vice President Mike Pence about his discussions with the Russian ambassador to Washington, leaving him vulnerable to leverage from Moscow.

White House officials, including Vice President Mike Pence, had insisted that Flynn had not discussed US -imposed sanctions with Kislyak during the presidential transition period.

At Tuesday's White House press briefing, the first question tossed to press secretary Sean Spicer, as expected, was why the president waited so long to fire Flynn.

Her testimony, coupled with the revelation hours earlier that President Barack Obama himself had warned Donald Trump against hiring Flynn shortly after the November election, made clear that alarms about Flynn had reached the highest levels of the USA government months before.

Testimonies of two key former officials before a Senate committee that is investigating alleged Russian interference in the U.S presidential election past year brought the issue into sharp focus again even as President Donald Trump termed the ongoing inquiry a "taxpayer funded charade". Trump acknowledged in February that Yates contacted him about Flynn, but said that after reviewing the information she gave him, it didn't "sound like [Flynn] did anything wrong".

Searches for the definition of the word "fulsome" spiked after Sally Yates used the adjective on Monday during her opening statement at the Senate Judiciary subcommittee about Russian interference with the 2016 election. Mr Obama had cautioned against Mr Flynn, whom he fired in 2014 as head of the Defence Intelligence Agency because of his poor record in administration and personnel management.

He told reporters Yates was "not exactly a supporter of the president's agenda", an apparent reference to her firing over ordering the Justice Department to not defend Trump's initial executive order banning individuals from seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the United States.

The testimony by Yates, who was sacked on January 30 after defying Trump over his contested travel ban, confirmed reports that she had informed the White House early on of the justice department's concerns about Flynn. 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.

- Former President Jimmy Carter revealed that his Democratic presidential choice was Sen.

On Saturday, March 4, Trump tweeted, without providing evidence, that his predecessor, President Obama, had Trump Tower in New York City wiretapped. "We told them that the vice president and others were entitled to know that the information they were conveying to the American people was not true".

The presence of her co-witness, Washington veteran and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, also had the effect of bolstering Yates' comments. Flynn resigned days after this news broke. Cornyn, Cruz "no match" for Yates Senate GOP invites female senator to healthcare group after criticism Dem senator: Yates "clearly got the best of" Cruz MORE (R-Texas) and John CornynJohn CornynMaxine Waters: Cornyn, Cruz "no match" for Yates Senate GOP invites female senator to healthcare group after criticism Five takeaways from Yates's dramatic Senate testimony MORE (R-Texas) are "no match" for her. They have also pointed the finger at Susan E. Rice, who was Obama's national security adviser.


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