Ex-Obama aide: Obama warned Trump against hiring retired general Flynn

This marks the first time Yates will be testifying before Congress on Russian interference in the 2016 USA election. "The specifics are quite sensitive", Clapper said. National Institutes of Health director Francis Collins led the meeting, which began with a quick speech by Vice President Pence and ended with President Trump inviting everyone for a quick visit to the Oval Office, per an administration official.

Earlier in the day Trump shot off a series of pre-emptive Twitter strikes, accusing Obama of enabling Flynn, and assailing Yates for allegedly leaking classified information.

Trump spokesman Sean Spicer has since indicated that the White House has no objection to Yates' testifying.

Flynn had disclosed the December 2015 trip to Moscow to the DIA, but he never told them he was paid by RT, the official said.

She is prepared to testify on Monday that she gave a "forceful warning" to the White House, which contradicts its version of what transpired.

The subcommittee meeting Monday is one of multiple congressional probes into the Russian Federation interference, along with House and Senate intelligence panels.

Flynn has previously said he would testify in the hearings on the basis that he was granted immunity.

Spicer said if the Obama administration was "truly concerned" about Flynn, there are steps it could have taken, including suspending his security clearance. Flynn served under Obama as defense intelligence chief before Obama dismissed him.

According to all three former officials, Obama warned Trump against hiring Flynn. Trump made no mention of the fact that Flynn had been fired by the Obama administration in 2014.

When Mr Trump sat down with Mr Obama just two days after winning the election last November, it was smiles all around. The White House says Flynn was sacked for misleading top officials about his contacts with Russia's ambassador to the United States.

The first conflict between McMaster and Trump was about the major speech the president delivered at the end of February to a joint session of Congress. McMaster pleaded with the president not to use the phrase "radical Islamic terrorism". He has provided no evidence and neither scenario has been supported by intelligence agencies.

Yates told White House staff and other top officials that Flynn could be a security risk after he discussed Russia sanctions with Russian ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak, CNN reported last week.

"General Flynn was given the highest security clearance by the Obama Administration", Trump tweeted early Monday.

Graham and Republicans, however, want to ask the witnesses about how details of Flynn's conversations, and other classified information, found their way into The Washington Post and other newspapers ahead of Trump's inauguration.

Though allegedly warned about Flynn's contacts with the Russian ambassador, Trump still picked him to be his National Security Adviser - a post Flynn lasted less than a month in.

"The efforts by a foreign adversary to interfere with and undermine our democratic processes - and those of our allies - pose a serious threat to all Americans, " Yates said in her prepared remarks before questioning from lawmakers on the Senate Judiciary subcommittee. Now, according to reports, it turns out Mr Obama spent part of the time warning him to steer clear of Michael Flynn - and the president-elect ignored his advice.

A current senior White House official has already officially responded to the report.

A person familiar with Yates' plans says she is likely to testify she expressed alarm about discrepancies between the statements and what occurred.

Flynn was in frequent contact with Kislyak on the day the Obama administration slapped sanctions on Russian Federation for election-related hacking, as well as at other times during the transition, a USA official has said.

Yates' testimony today comes after she notified the White House of her intent to appear before the House Intelligence Committee in March.

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