President Donald Trump didn’t wait long to weigh in on Monday’s testimony by former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.
The pair testified before a Senate judiciary subcommittee for more than three hours about Russia’s influence in the 2016 election, the investigation into former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, unmasking of U.S. citizens in intelligence reports and Yates’ decision not to defend Trump’s first travel ban executive order. Trump fired Yates shortly after she made that decision on Jan. 30.
Less than 90 minutes after the hearing wrapped up, Trump took to Twitter to share his thoughts on the events.
Yates testified that she bluntly warned the Trump White House in January that Flynn “essentially could be blackmailed” by the Russians because he apparently had lied to his bosses about his contacts with Moscow’s ambassador in Washington.
“We felt like it was critical that we get this information to the White House, in part because the vice president was unknowingly making false statements to the public and because we believed that Gen. Flynn was compromised with respect to the Russians,” Yates said.
“To state the obvious,” she added later, “you don’t want your national security adviser compromised with the Russians.”
Yates said she had two meetings and one substantive phone call with the White House counsel. The last of those, the phone call, took place on Jan. 30, her final day as acting attorney general. Flynn resigned on Feb. 14 after published reports that he had lied to Vice President Mike Pence.
Clapper said that he was not aware of the FBI’s counterintelligence probe into Russia meddling in the election during his time as head of the nation’s 17 spy agencies. He retired the day Trump was inaugurated. He was not aware of the counterintelligence investigation that FBI Director James Comey acknowledged during his March 20 testimony before the House intelligence committee.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.