The Flynn News is Fake News

Graham takes shot at Trump in Russia hearingMore

Graham takes shot at Trump in Russia hearingMore

The Trump administration, including vice president Mike Pence, had repeatedly insisted that the former US Army general had not discussed American sanctions in conversations with the Russian ambassador to the US.

The former acting attorney general Sally Yates has spoken publicly for the first time about her concerns over Mr Flynn's conduct in the early days of the Trump administration.

Yates testified on Monday that President Trump's transition team had been informed in January that Michael Flynn could be blackmailed by Russian operatives.

On Tuesday, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer defended the administration's decision to keep Flynn on as national security adviser for more than two weeks after Yates' warning by implying that Yates, a Barack Obama appointee, could not be trusted because she was "a strong supporter of Clinton".

Pence said in January that Flynn denied those calls involved sanctions placed on Russian Federation by the Obama administration in response to its election meddling.

Democrats criticize Trump for not firing Flynn until February 13 - the day the Washington Post published a story that reported that, contrary to Pence's assertion, Flynn discussed sanctions with Kislyak. Flynn's conversations with Kislyak were picked up by the Federal Bureau of Investigation during "routine surveillance" of the Russian ambassador, and she knew they had talked about sanctions. Trump's detractors say it is beyond doubt that Muslims were the ban's intended target, but the administration says it is motivated strictly by national security concerns, an area where USA presidents have wide powers.

Forty-five years ago next month a White House conversation took place that will be remembered by history as the one containing the infamous "18-minute gap."

The subpoenas represent the first sign of a significant escalation of activity in the FBI's broader investigation begun last July into possible ties between Trump campaign associates and Russian Federation.

Yates said Trump's travel ban, which targeted several Muslim-majority counties, was "unlawful", and added, "All arguments have to be based on truth".

Republican members pointedly asked Ms. Yates and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, who testified with her, whether they leaked the information to the media.

"You don't want your national security adviser compromised with the Russians", Yates told a Senate panel investigating Russia's election interference.

"And that created a compromise situation where the national security adviser could be blackmailed by the Russians".

"Oh yes", Clapper said.

Flynn had previously held a position in the former administration, but was sacked from his position as head of the defense intelligence agency.

Without elaborating on how she learned the information, she told senators that she met with McGahn and told him that what Pence had relayed about Flynn, "we knew not to be the truth".

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