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Obama warned Trump against hiring Flynn before inauguration

16 May 2017

I think if you flip the scenario and say what if we had just dismissed somebody because a political opponent of the president had made an utterance, you would argue it was pretty irrational to act in that manner.

1, 2017, during the daily news briefing at the White House, in Washington.

"We were there to tell the White House about something we were very concerned about and emphasize to them repeatedly so that they could take action", she said of her meeting with McGahn that included a colleague of hers.

"This was a problem because" it "created a compromised situation" where the national security adviser "essentially could be blackmailed by the Russians". 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 United States presidents have wide powers.

Trump said in a press conference three days after Flynn resigned, however, that when he looked at the information provided to him about Flynn's conversations with Kislyak, "I said, 'I don't think he did anything wrong". Until then she had been a government lawyer who toiled in relative obscurity for most of her 27-year career in the Justice Department.

But here are four reasons why the entire Russian Federation story - as it relates to the 2016 election, to former Trump National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, and to any allegations of collusion - isn't fake news.

In the almost three weeks that passed between finding out Flynn misled the Vice President Mike Pence about his contacts with Russia's ambassador to the US and Flynn's resignation, Spicer said, there were no known restrictions to his access to information.

Ms Yates, who was sacked on Jan 30 after defying Mr Trump over his contested travel ban, did not say what Mr Flynn discussed with Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in a number of phone calls last December, which were secretly monitored by USA intelligence.

When asked how Yates counted as a "political opponent", Spicer said she was appointed by the Obama administration and was "a strong supporter of Hillary Clinton".

The next morning, McGahn phoned Yates and asked her to return.

"I made a determination that I believed that it was unlawful", Yates said.

The warning, first reported by NBC News, came up during a discussion of White House personnel.

Strikingly, Yates warned that not only was Flynn not telling the truth about the calls, the Russians knew and could probably prove he was lying - therefore opening him up to blackmail.

She was understood to be referring to telephone calls between Flynn and Russian ambassador to Moscow Sergey Kislyak before Trump took office.

But Sen. Richard Blumenthal of CT deliberately raised the question of Flynn's possible guilt in an exchange with Yates.