Donald Trump threatens sacked Federal Bureau of Investigation chief against leaking conversations to media

Kathleen Parker

White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Tuesday Michael Flynn's brief stay in the White House ended after the proper protocols were followed, dismissing suggestions Flynn was only fired after his dealings with Russian Federation became public. It's a stunning admission when you consider the high stakes of what Yates was alerting the White House to, and the petty partisan politics the administration apparently allowed to cloud their judgment.

The White House's immediate reaction to Yates' meeting with its counsel was to wonder why this political operative was approaching them about Flynn, Spicer said the day after Yates testified before a Senate committee that she had gone to the White House to deliver a strongly worded warning about Flynn's vulnerability. Now, why was Yates surprised?

Mr Holt then interrupted to point out that Ms Yates was, at the time, the acting Attorney General of the United States - a title that carries with it a significant amount of credence.

The presence of her co-witness, Washington veteran and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, also had the effect of bolstering Yates' comments. The White House Counsel informed the President immediately.

But if Trump's quick and dismissive reaction to her appearance is any guide, the Yates testimony put another dent in the administration's defenses.

He reiterated that it was Flynn's misleading of Vice President Mike Pence about the topics of his conversations, not Yates' warnings, that led to his firing.

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"Director Clapper reiterated what everybody, including the fake media already knows - there is "no evidence" of collusion w/ Russian Federation and Trump", Trump said.

It nevertheless took 18 days before the president, pressed by Pence and others, dismissed the retired army lieutenant general, who had advised him on security issues throughout the 2016 presidential campaign.

"The Russians can use compromising material in a variety of ways, sometimes overtly, sometimes subtly", said Yates.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is looking into allegations Russian Federation meddled in the 2016 presidential election to benefit Trump, as well as possible links to the Trump campaign.

"Deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, when asked at Thursday's White House press briefing, said it was inappropriate for Trump to have asked Comey if he was under investigation".

On Monday, Washington political theater was in full force, and the stars were Texas Sens. The president made, ultimately, the right decision... And Yates was very clear about her intentions. Flynn could reasonably face criminal charges and if found guilty, there would be a basis to lock him up.

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