Trump Waited 3 Weeks To Fire Flynn, Until Forced By News Reports
May 8, 2017
The White House let its false statements about Flynn’s contact with the Russian ambassador stand for weeks after Yates warned the White House Counsel.
“White House appears to have let its repeated false statements about Flynn stand for weeks after that notification from Yates, and has yet to account for what it did with the warning she conveyed. The disclosures about Flynn have added to the swirling suspicion about the Trump administration’s relationship with Moscow — suspicion based in part on Trump’s repeated expressions of admiration for Russian President Vladimir Putin.”
The White House whitewashed the seriousness of Sally Yates’ warning to the White House Counsel, claiming that she gave them a “heads up” that Flynn’s statements “may have seemed in conflict” with the truth.
SPICER: “So just to be clear, the acting Attorney General informed the White House Counsel that they wanted to give a ‘heads up’ to us on some comments that may have seemed in conflict with what he had sent the Vice President out in particular. The White House Counsel informed the President immediately. The President asked him to conduct a review of whether there was a legal situation there. That was immediately determined that there wasn’t. That was what the President believed at the time, from what he had been told, and he was proved to be correct.”
Even after Yates warned the White House on Jan. 23, Flynn misled the FBI and the media about his conversations with the Russian ambassador.
“Former national security adviser Michael Flynn denied to FBI agents in an interview last month that he had discussed U.S. sanctions against Russia with that country’s ambassador to the United States before President Trump took office, contradicting the contents of intercepted communications collected by intelligence agencies, current and former U.S. officials said.”
“In a Feb. 8 interview with The Washington Post, Flynn categorically denied discussing sanctions with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, repeating public assertions made in January by top Trump officials. One day after the interview, Flynn revised his account, telling The Post through a spokesman that he ‘couldn’t be certain that the topic never came up.’”
Flynn was fired 18 days after Yates warned the White House – and only after it was publicly reported that he had lied about discussing sanctions with Russia’s ambassador.
“Michael Flynn, the national security adviser to President Trump, resigned late Monday over revelations about his potentially illegal contacts with the Russian ambassador to the United States, and his misleading statements about the matter to senior Trump administration officials. Flynn stepped down amid mounting pressure on the Trump administration to account for its false statements about Flynn’s conduct after The Washington Post reported Monday that the Justice Department had warned the White House last month that Flynn had so mischaracterized his communications with the Russian diplomat that he might be vulnerable to blackmail by Moscow.”