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Flynn, a retired Army three-star general, was forced to resign as Trump's top national security aide 18 days after Yates first alerted the White House on January 26, but only after news stories revealed the existence of a transcript of Flynn's conversations with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

The report quoted "current and former USA officials". Trump fired Flynn earlier this year for misleading the Vice President Mike Pence about Flynn's communications with Russian Federation.

Sally Yates didn't bring a smoking gun to the latest episode of the long-running political melodrama entwining the White House and Russian Federation.

Yates, a career federal prosecutor, was named deputy attorney general by Obama in 2015. Spicer described her visit to the White House to warn of Flynn as a "heads-up".

Meanwhile, Justice Department officials have scrutinized the business dealings of Paul Manafort, who resigned in August as Trump's campaign chairman.

"We felt it was important to get this information to the White House as quickly as possible", Yates said. "The Russians also knew". The Russians "knew this", Yates said, "and likely had proof" of what Flynn and Kislyak really talked about.

Yates and Clapper also denied ever leaking classified information to the press.

The question that did not get answered during more than three hours of testimony Monday afternoon is why the White House waited 18 days to fire Flynn after learning he had lied.

Flynn became Trump's first appointment as his national security adviser, a key position in the White House overseeing the administration's foreign and defence policies.

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But job growth in March was revised downward, and the labour force participation rate dipped slightly. The drop was not limited to the United States dollar: the common currency slipped across the board.

But in his most damning attempts to undercut her credibility, Spicer went so far as to call Yates a "strong supporter of Clinton" without offering any evidence. During their second in-person meeting he asked her: "Why does it matter to DOJ if one White House official lies to another?" John Cornyn and how the Constitution works to Ted Cruz, Yates delivered a detailed a timeline of what, exactly, the White House knew about Gen. Michael Flynn's conversation with Russian ambassador Sergei Kislyak, and when. That's a question that was asked of Yates not only by the White House's top lawyer when they met, but also at Monday's hearing by Sen.

Sally Yates declined to answer whether she's seen evidence of collusion.

Yates filled in new details of the events of January 26, describing contacting McGahn in the morning and telling him she had something sensitive to discuss in person. "We told him we were concerned the American people had been misled".

And the Yates claims were also an apt metaphor for the long and corrosive drama over Russian Federation. On Monday, Jan. 30, she called him back and agreed to his request.

In her testimony Monday, Yates said that she had concluded that the executive order was unlawful and that it was her duty to say so.

It had the makings of a Cold War whodunit: The attorney general tells the White House that the Russians have kompromat on the president's national security adviser - but the president, for reasons unclear, stands by the compromised official.

Why would Trump listen to any "advice" the Obama administration had to offer? After enough evidence was released by USA intelligence officials, Flynn's spokesman released a statement that Flynn "indicated that while he had no recollection of discussing sanctions, he couldn't be certain that the topic never came up".

What continues to astonish, although the subject barely was broached at the hearing, is that Flynn served in good standing and apparent high repute at the White House for more than two weeks after all this took place. In fact, it'll be especially interesting to know whether Flynn had chatted with his boss - Donald Trump - about his communications with Russian Federation.

After both Press Secretary Spicer and the President blamed the Obama Administration vetting process, members of the administration told NBC they thought President Obama was actually joking about General Flynn ("remark seemed like it was made in jest"). Spicer adds, "During the transition, I asked Gen. Flynn that - whether or not there were any other conversations beyond the ambassador and he said no".

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