×

Ex-Acting Attorney General Sally Yates Testifies That She Warned White House About Michael Flynn

Former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates said that she informed the White House in January that she believed that Michael Flynn was “compromised with respect to the Russians” in his role as national security adviser.

Flynn resigned on Feb. 13, after it was revealed that he misled Vice President Mike Pence about the nature of his conversations with the Russian ambassador during the presidential transition period. Flynn had insisted that he had not discussed sanctions on Russian with the ambassador, even though he had.

Yates appeared before a Senate Judiciary subcommittee on Monday in highly anticipated testimony, where she was queried about her Jan. 26 warnings to White House Counsel Don McGahn that what Flynn was telling Pence and others was not accurate.

The Russians, she said, were aware of what Flynn was saying, presenting a potential blackmail opportunity.

“We believed that General Flynn was compromised with respect to the Russians,” Yates said. She declined to provide many details of what was said, citing classified information.

She added, “Logic would tell you that you don’t want the national security advisor to be in a situation where the Russians have leverage over him.”

But she said that it was not just Flynn’s misleading of the White House that posed problems.

“The underlying conduct that General Flynn had engaged in was problematic in and of itself,” she said.

Earlier on Monday, President Donald Trump suggested that Yates had some involvement in the leaking of information to the media about Flynn’s contacts with Russian officials. Flynn resigned after the Washington Post reported that intelligence officials had intercepted calls between Flynn and the Russian ambassador.

But Yates and James Clapper, the former director of National Intelligence, denied that they authorized any leaks or that they did so themselves. Clapper was also testifying at the hearing on Russian interference into the 2016 election.

In another tweet, Trump distanced himself from Flynn by laying blame on his predecessor.

Several outlets reported later on Monday that, in their first meeting two days after the election, Barack Obama warned Trump about hiring Flynn. Obama had fired Flynn as director of Defense Intelligence, and Flynn later went to work on Trump’s campaign.

Popular on Variety

More Biz

  • Led Zeppelin Stairway to Heaven

    Department of Justice Backs Led Zeppelin in ‘Stairway to Heaven’ Copyright Case

    The U.S. Department of Justice has weighed in on the next big music copyright case on the horizon following the Katy Perry “Dark Horse” decision, and taken Led Zeppelin’s side in the long-running copyright dispute that pits the writers of the group’s anthem “Stairway to Heaven” against the publishers of the earlier song “Taurus” by [...]

  • Harvey Weinstein

    Harvey Weinstein Prosecutors Make Last-Minute Move to Bolster Case

    The Manhattan D.A.’s office is making a last-minute bid to strengthen its case against Harvey Weinstein, who is set to be tried next month on charges of rape and sexual assault. Prosecutors notified the court on Tuesday that they will seek a new indictment. The D.A.’s office wants jurors to hear from Annabella Sciorra, the [...]

  • Jeffrey Epstein

    Jeffrey Epstein's Autopsy Rules That He Died by Suicide

    Jeffrey Epstein’s death earlier this month has been ruled a suicide by hanging. The New York Times reported on Friday that the city’s medical examiner has officially made the ruling six days after Epstein was found dead in his jail cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan. According to the Times, which cites a [...]

  • America Ferrera Eva Longoria

    America Ferrera, Eva Longoria and More Sign Letter to Latinx Community: 'We Will Not Be Broken'

    America Ferrera, Eva Longoria and more have signed a letter published in several media outlets on Friday standing in solidarity with the Latinx community. In response to the heightened tension surrounding President Trump’s immigration agenda, the El Paso shooting that targeted Latinx people and the ICE raids in Mississippi, the letter addresses the language used [...]

  • Research Firm Screen Engine/ASI Acquires TicktBox

    Screen Engine/ASI Acquires TicktBox, an Entertainment Marketing and Ticketing Startup

    Screen Engine/ASI, a market research firm that specializes in focus-group testing of movies and TV pilots, has acquired ticktBox, which operates a digital marketing and ticketing platform used by movie distributors, exhibitors, and TV networks. Terms of the deal, which closed Aug. 9, weren’t disclosed. With ticktBox, SE/ASI will have one of the largest databases of [...]

  • NEW YORK, NEW YORK - AUGUST

    Eric Reid, Jemele Hill – and Colin Kaepernick? - Take Jay-Z to Task Over NFL Partnership

    When news of the presumably lucrative entertainment and social-justice deal between Jay-Z’s Roc Nation and the NFL leaked on Tuesday, initially there was a surprising lack of public reaction or outcry. But after a press conference where Jay and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell officially announced the deal at Roc Nation’s New York offices yesterday — [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content