Spicer tries to diminish Yates by saying she was a “strong supporter of Clinton.”
Is there any evidence of that? pic.twitter.com/iw7FG6VIcY
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) May 9, 2017
On Tuesday, Press Secretary Sean Spicer was required to answer multiple questions about ousted National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and the nature of his hiring by Donald Trump’s administration. Why? Because former acting Attorney General Sally Yates had testified the day before at a hearing held by the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee. And while the day’s biggest reactions concerned Trump’s attempts to gaslight the media on Twitter and favored punching bag Ted Cruz, reporters attending Spicer’s White House Press Briefing were more concerned with the administration’s latest response.
Needless to say, Spicer didn’t disappoint. Especially when he tried politicizing the situation by calling Yates’ political affiliation during the presidential election into question:
“[She is] someone who is not exactly a supporter of the president’s agenda. Who, a couple days after this first conversation took place, refused to uphold a lawful order of the president. Who is not exactly someone that was excited about President Trump taking office or his agenda… We did what we were supposed to do. The president made, ultimately, the right decision… [She was] appointed by the Obama administration and a strong supporter of Clinton.”
Yes, Obama did appoint Yates to the Deputy Attorney General post in 2015, but before that, she was appointed acting U.S. Attorney for Georgia’s Northern District by President George W. Bush in 2004. What’s more, her career with the Justice Department stems much further back, across multiple administrations and parties. And to make matters worse for Spicer’s claims, journalists and Twitter et al. quickly uncovered just how wrong he was about Yates’ supposed political affiliations.
If Spicer’s egregiously false claims about Yates’ political affiliations, and whether or not they influenced her career, weren’t bad enough, his repeated attempts to qualify her warnings about Flynn as a “heads up” drew plenty of criticism as well:
Spicer probably should have just bolted again.