During her Senate testimony on Monday, former acting AG Sally Yates revealed that the White House had an astonishing response to her warning about retired General Michael Flynn’s exposure to the Russian influence.
Yates: Trump Had Known About Flynn’s Communications with the Russians
The ex-interim AG’s testimony confirmed that the Trump administration had known weeks in advance about the disgraced former national security adviser’s contacts with a top Russian spy, but decided to ignore the warning. Yates also confirmed that the new administration knew Flynn was at risk of being “manipulated” by the Russians, and that he lied to the vice president about it.
The former transition attorney general also said the White House’s reaction to her warning simply stunned her. Yates reportedly warned Trump’s top lawyer, Donald McGahn, Flynn was probably compromised.
In January, she told McGahn that Flynn’s version of the Russia story had discrepancies that suggested he might not be telling the truth. Sources confirmed Yates briefed McGahn on the existence of transcripts of the conversations between the disgraced national security adviser and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. At the time, Yates described Flynn’s conduct as “problematic.”
The White House’s Stunning Response
She also told the White House’s top lawyer that the Russians could use the info they had on Flynn to blackmail him in something she called a “compromise situation.” The former AG reportedly had briefed the White House on the issue to take action.
Instead, the White House decided to sweep the entire matter under the rug. After hearing the revelations, McGahn reportedly told Yates: “So? Who cares?,” unnamed sources told the Washington Post.
Yates added during this Monday’s hearing that Trump’s cabinet asked her why would her department “care if one government official may have lied to each other.” Senator Al Franken who questioned Yates Monday couldn’t grasp why McGahn didn’t understand the gravity of the situation.
“I’m not sure I could help you with that, Senator.”
Yates replied to Al Franken.