Following Sally Yates’ testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee on how she warned White House counsel about then-National Security Advisor Michael Flynn’s ties to Russia, the former deputy attorney general is revealing more. In short, she’s shocked at how Trump hesitated to fire Flynn, even after being informed he had been compromised by the Russians.
Last night, in an interview with CNN‘s Anderson Cooper, Yates spoke on the magnitude of the leverage Russia had over Flynn. Now, Yates has revealed in an interview with The New Yorker that she was blown away by how Flynn remained on the job for eighteen days following her warnings:
“We had just gone and told them that the national-security adviser, of all people, was compromised with the Russians and that their Vice-President and others had been lying to the American people about it. We expected them to act.” She added, “We expected them to do something immediately.”
Everyone now knows that the White House did not take swift action in firing Flynn. Not only that, but Yates herself was fired four days after alerting the White House about Flynn’s shady actions. This was a good two weeks before they got around to firing Flynn and only after media reports broke to the public. Yates ran down a timeline of her involvement with the Flynn matter:
“It started out as general stuff, and then you’ve got the vice president, and then Sean Spicer on the 23rd gets very specific. Flynn is interviewed (by the FBI) on the 24th. We get the readout on the 25th and have consulted about the impact of the investigation, and I call first thing on the 26th.”
Yates was soon after fired from her role as temporary attorney general for what Trump deemed insubordination stemming from her refusal to support, or argue in favor of, his infamous Muslim travel ban. On her way out the door, Yates argued publicly that the ban was unconstitutional and that Americans must fight to strike it down.
Yates also told The New Yorker she initially had plans to resign from her post (after learning about the Muslim ban) but thought better of it. She also revealed that she is not interested (as some have suggested) in running for Georgia governor, but she may run for office in the future:
“I recognize that I may have a voice that I didn’t have before. And part of what I want to be able to do is to figure out how I can responsibly use that voice in a way to impact things that I think really matter. I just don’t know what form that takes. I’ve got to give something more back.”
(Via The New Yorker)