Sally Yates said she alerted the White House in January that Mike Flynn “essentially could be blackmailed” by the Russians after he misled Vice President Mike Pence about his contact with the Russian ambassador to the United States.
Yates, the Obama administration holdover who was the acting attorney general for just 10 days of the Trump administration before she was fired for refusing to uphold his travel ban, testified before the Senate Judiciary’s Subcommittee Monday about her discussions with the White House regarding the former national security adviser.
“We believed that General Flynn was compromised with respect to the Russians,” Yates said Monday. “To state the obvious, you don’t want the national security adviser compromised by the Russians.” (RELATED: Trump Implies Sally Yates Leaked Classified Information)
Yates said the Russians knew that Flynn had misled Pence about his contact with Sergey Kislyak, and therefore the Department of Justice was concerned he could be blackmailed by them.
“We weren’t the only ones who knew all of this. The Russians knew what Mike Flynn had done, and knew that he had misled Mike Pence. This was a problem, because not only did we believe that the Russians knew this, but that they likely had proof.”
“That created a compromise situation.”
“You don’t want to the national security adviser to be in a position where the Russians could have leverage over him.”
— The Situation Room (@CNNSitRoom) May 8, 2017