Obama warned Trump against hiring Flynn


Yates was removed by the White House as acting attorney general on January 30 after instructing the Justice Department not to enforce the president's controversial executive order banning entry into the United States by those from seven Muslim-majority countries. He said the White House acted quickly, but also wanted to make sure Flynn was afforded an "element of due process".

In another Twitter post, Mr Trump noted that Mr Flynn had been granted top security clearance while working in the Obama administration. Yates stated that she has no way of knowing "what, if anything" was done about the matter, and that "If nothing was done, then certainly that would be concerning".

"And that created a compromise situation where the national security adviser could be blackmailed by the Russians". "Just because someone comes in and gives you a heads up about something and says I want to share some information doesn't mean that you immediately jump the gun and go take an action".

Yates told the hearing she had been concerned that "the national security adviser essentially could be blackmailed by the Russians".

The statements from Yates, an Obama administration holdover, offered by far the most detailed account of the chain of events that led to Flynn's ouster from government in the first weeks of the Trump administration. "Appointed by the Obama administration and a strong supporter of Clinton", Spicer responded.

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That was factually incorrect: During the hearing, Clapper did not say that there was no evidence of collusion between Russian Federation and Trump associates.

She appeared before a Senate panel investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, and told of her discussions with White House counsel Don McGahn.

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. Lindsey Graham's intimation after the hearing that he would be interested in digging further into Trump's business ties to Russian Federation, an issue that former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said he could not discuss at Monday's hearing "because that impacts an investigation". Obama himself told one of his closest advisers that the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which by then had been investigating Trump associates' possible ties to Russian Federation for about six months, seemed particularly focused on Flynn.

Burr, the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, told reporters that his committee plans to also talk to Yates "at some point". Trump has since repeated the allegation that the 44th president ordered surveillance of him and his campaign associates, again without any evidence.