Senate Dem: White House more focused on defending Trump than national security

Remigio Civitarese
Mag 19, 2017

Yates explained that "the underlying conduct General Flynn had engaged in was problematic in and of itself", but she said the bigger worry among senior Justice Department officials was that "the Russians also knew what (he) had done".

Spicer suggested that action proved that Yates was "not exactly someone that was excited about President Trump taking office or his agenda".

Instead, Trump chose to play up former director of national intelligence James Clapper's acknowledgement during the same hearing that he was not aware of any evidence of collusion between the president and Russian Federation, which American intelligence has concluded tried to sway the U.S. election in Trump's favor. He retired when Trump took office.

Trump shouldered into the conversation in the morning, tweeting that it was the Obama administration, not he, that had given Lt. Gen. Flynn "the highest security clearance" when he worked at the Pentagon. He also wanted to see proof. "One of the questions that Mr. McGahn asked me when I went back over the second day was essentially, 'Why does it matter to DOJ if one White House official lies to another White House official?'" Yates recounted in her testimony.

Early on in the race for the Democratic nomination, Carter said he believed former secretary of state Hillary Clinton would get the nomination "because money dominates, and she has an inside track to the massive amounts that are going to pour into the Democratic Party side".

White House officials, including Vice President Mike Pence, had insisted that Mr Flynn did not discuss US-imposed sanctions with Mr Kislyak during the presidential transition period.

Donald Trump has hit back angrily over new claims about his former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who resigned amid controversy over his links with Russian Federation.

Trump's press secretary Sean Spicer said in response 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. Flynn served under Obama as defense intelligence chief before Obama dismissed him.

Trump repeatedly has said he has no ties to Russia and isn't aware of any involvement by his aides in any Russian interference in the election.

After the hearing, Mr Trump tweeted: "The Russia-Trump collusion story is a total hoax, when will this taxpayer funded charade end?"

"The decision that we made was the right one".

Yates' warning about Flynn capped weeks of concern among top Obama officials, former officials told the AP.

Prior to working at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, McGahn was a partner specializing in campaign finance at Jones Day in Washington, general counsel for Trump's campaign, in-house counsel for the National Republican Congressional Committee for years and former chairman for the Federal Election Commission from 2008-2013.

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