President Trump has tried to blame Sally Yates, President Obama, and the media for the Russian interference in the 2016 election, but he can’t tweet away the truth.
In her early testimony before the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee today in Washington, Sally Yates has made it clear she did warn the White House about National Security Advisor Michael Flynn’s lies concerning his contact with the Russians. She called Flynn’s actions “problematic.”
Yates, who was acting Attorney General at the time, said she told the White House during at least two meetings that she was fearful Flynn was compromised to the point that the Russians might be able to use his misinformation as a way to blackmail him.
“We believed that Gen. Flynn was compromised iwth respect to the Russians,” declared Yates, adding: “To state the obvious, you don’t want your national security advisor compromised by the Russians.”
In a meeting with the White House on January 26, Yates said, she told them there was evidence that Flynn’s conduct was different than public statements made by Vice President Mike Pence.
She did not accuse Pence of “providing false information,” but Yates said she wanted to make sure the Trump administration knew what he was saying about Flynn was false.
“It was a matter of urgency,” said Yates.
In response to a question from South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsay Graham, bringing up the subject of one of Trump’s early morning tweets, Yates said she did not leak any of the information about Flynn and the Russians to the press and had no knowledge of how it came to be in the media.
Yates said that there were some questions she could not answer in a public forum because it involved confidential information that could impact national security. But in everything she could talk about, Yates came across as straightforward, honest and sincere in her answers.
For Americans who have been waiting months for true answers about the Russian hacking of the 2016 election, this was the first light shed into the darkness of that illegal activity. Whatever the end result of this new information, it will stand as proof of an attempt to interfere in the American presidential election, no matter what Trump tweets in the middle of the night.