REACTION: Yates, Clapper Testimony on Flynn and Russia

Despite Sally Yates’ repeated warnings, it took 18 days and a public news story for Trump to fire Flynn.

New York Times: “Perhaps the biggest takeaway…was that a lot of people had serious concerns about Mr. Flynn serving as national security adviser. But none of them was named Donald J. Trump.”

Vox: “Yates’s public testimony once again raises the question of why Trump waited so long to fire Flynn.”

CNN: For 18 days, “Flynn was the most senior national security official in the West Wing, privy to every intelligence and foreign policy decision and secret, all the while, at risk of being blackmailed by Moscow.”

Jeff Pegues: “Sally Yates described the urgency she felt to warn the White House that former national security advisor Michael Flynn was compromised.” [CBS This Morning, 5/9/17]

Kristen Welker: “[Yates] warned the White House Counsel during two meetings and a phone call in late January about then national security advisor Michael Flynn’s conversations with the Russian ambassador.”[Today, NBC, 5/9/17]

Jeffrey Tobin: “The White House clearly just didn’t want to hear what Sally Yates was saying.” [New Day, CNN, 5/9/17]

Mercedes Schlapp: “Why did the Trump administration keep Flynn on from that January 26 through the February, the 18 days, when they hada this information and he was still, Flynn was still attending classified briefings and in these calls? I think that’s critical.” [Special Report, FOX News, 5/9/17]

David Ignatius: “The mystery of why Donald Trump did not act when he was given warnings about Mike Flynn’s behavior is now a critical question.” [Morning Joe, MSNBC, 5/9/17]


Neither Clapper nor Yates ruled out the existence of evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

CNN: “The implication from [Yates and Clapper] was that there may, indeed, be evidence of collusion – this after months of the White House arguing that Clapper was clear there is no evidence.”


Yates’ appearance before the Committee only further undermined the Trump administration’s version of events.

CNN: “If Trump’s quick and dismissive reaction to her appearance is any guide, the Yates testimony put another dent in the administration’s defenses.”

Pierre Thomas: Sally Yates testified that she “was worried because she saw repeated assertions from Trump officials suggesting Flynn had told them he had not discussed President Obama’s sanctions against the Kremlin […] Yates knew otherwise.” [Good Morning America, ABC, 5/9/17]

Reporter: “[Yates’] testimony directly contradicting the White House’s muted account in mid-February.” [New Day, CNN, 5/9/17]

Chris Cillizza: “To me, the thing I never understand about this […] The continued insistence there’s no there there when any reasonable person looking at this can say there’s clearly a there there.” [New Day, CNN, 5/9/17]

Chris Cuomo: On Sean Spicer blaming the Obama administration for Mike Flynn’s security clearance: “That would be laughable if it weren’t such a serious thing.” [New Day, CNN, 5/9/17]