Key Moments From the Sally Yates Hearing

After warning, it took 18 days to fire Flynn
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 9, 2017 6:48 AM CDT

(Newser) – Former acting Attorney General Sally Yates on Monday testified before a Senate subcommittee looking into the Trump campaign's alleged ties to Russia, and analysts say she provided some key information about the departure of National Security Adviser Michael Flynn—and raised some new questions for the White House. A roundup of coverage:

  • The New York Times lists six takeaways from the hearing. Chief among them: A lot of people, including Barack Obama and Chris Christie as well as Yates, had reservations about Flynn becoming national security adviser. "To state the obvious: You don’t want your national security adviser compromised with the Russians," Yates said in the hearing's most-quoted line. She said she warned that Flynn could be open to blackmail because he had lied about his contacts with the Russian ambassador.

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  • Politico lists several key moments from the hearing, including Yates' and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper's denial that they were ever anonymous sources for news reports about Trump campaign ties to Russia. Another was when Yates disclosed that she had to learn about Trump's travel ban from media reports.
  • Another takeaway: Some Republicans, including Ted Cruz, are still focusing on Hillary Clinton's emails, with Cruz asking Clapper a hypothetical question about email forwarding that the Times calls a "thinly veiled" reference to Huma Adebin and Anthony Weiner.
  • The Washington Post notes that the hearing didn't explain why the White House waited 18 days to fire Flynn after learning that he had lied to the administration, and it is unclear what administration officials did with the information Yates gave them before she was fired for not defending Trump's travel ban.
  • Trump attacked the testimony in a series of tweets, which CNN considers a sign that Yates may have "put another dent in the administration's defenses." "Sally Yates made the fake media extremely unhappy today," he tweeted. "She said nothing but old news!"
  • The Hill notes that there was no "smoking gun" from the hearing that is expected to damage Trump. His most controversial moment of the day was a tweet saying people should "ask Sally Yates, under oath, if she knows how classified information got into the newspapers soon after she explained it to W.H. Counsel," which some Trump critics called witness intimidation.
  • The Guardian reports that social media poked fun at Trump after his Twitter header banner was briefly altered to include one of his own tweets: "Director Clapper reiterated what everybody, including the fake media already knows- there is 'no evidence' of collusion w/ Russia and Trump."
(Read more Michael Flynn stories.)

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