After Yates, more questions for the Trump White House

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Making her first public statements about the issue, Yates said she feared Moscow could try to blackmail Flynn because it also knew he had not been truthful about conversations he had with Ambassador Sergei Kislyak about US sanctions on Russian Federation.

"You don't want your national security adviser compromised by the Russians", she said. But she was not the source of the leak to the press.

Yates said she stood by the decision that got her fired. But Flynn lingered in the administration for two more weeks, before finally being pushed out.

He asked why, if Flynn was so bad, had Obama never revoked his security clearance.

But if Trump's quick and dismissive reaction to her appearance is any guide, the Yates testimony put another dent in the administration's defenses. And she says the Department of Justice knew that - what was said at that meeting between Flynn and Russia's ambassador.

"I don't have any way of knowing what, if anything, they did", Yates said.

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Senator John Cornyn, the No. 2 Republican in the Senate, was one of a handful who grilled Yates about her objections to Trump's travel ban.

Yates filled in new details of the events of January 26, describing contacting McGahn in the morning and telling him she had something sensitive to discuss in person.

However, Ms Yates told senators that she discussed the matter with Mr McGahn three times, and that her advice had been...

Earlier Monday, former officials said Obama had raised general concerns about Flynn with Trump and told the incoming president there were better people for the national security post.

Some Republicans veered away from questions about Russia's alleged involvement in the election to focus on issues such as whether Obama administration officials had improperly revealed the names of Trump administration officials contained in surveillance records. But Spicer portrayed the Obama advice as partisan.

But we were also left with questions about why the White House waited 18 days after finding out Flynn misled them to fire him.

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Spicer said 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.

Trump has repeatedly branded the issue of Russian interference "fake news" despite Clapper and other leaders of the United States intelligence community concluding that President Vladimir Putin himself was behind the meddling. 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.

During the ongoing investigation in February, the Washington Post reported that Sally Yates had warned the Trump White House in late January that Flynn had not been truthful about his contacts with Russia and that he was vulnerable to blackmail by Russian intelligence.

Hackers broke into the computer network of the Democratic National Committee during the 2016 campaign, which USA officials and cybersecurity experts have publicly tied to Russian intelligence services.

The White House spokesperson's email does, however, point to Federal Election Commission reports that show Yates's husband, Comer Yates, donated $3,355 to Obama's presidential campaigns and lesser amounts to other Democratic candidates. So Flynn has a lot of problems, and I think there are going to be several more twists and turns in this, you know, in terms of him appearing before Senate committees and House committees and elsewhere. He retired the day Trump was inaugurated.

Numerous figures in the Trump orbit have come under scrutiny for communications with Russians, though all have denied doing anything improper - and no one has been charged with any crime. He did not elaborate.

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