With the issue of the president's ties to Moscow back in the spotlight, Trump took to Twitter to dismiss as "old news" the Senate testimony Monday by former acting attorney general Sally Yates about his former national security advisor Michael Flynn.
Flynn has come under committee scrutiny over communications he had with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak while a representative of then-President-elect Donald Trump's transition team. Pressed on his portrayal of this long-standing Justice Department official, Spicer said, "Appointed by the Obama administration and a strong supporter of Clinton". Eighteen days went by between Yates expressing her concerns to the White House and Flynn being removed from the post.
She stated that she had warned President Trump about Flynn, as well as revealing that Russian Federation has had dirt on Flynn for a long time and would have been able to succeed in blackmailing him. Yates argued that Trump's executive order violated the Constitution, and that it was her duty to break with the president when his actions were deemed unconstitutional in her eyes.
Spicer said that Trump defended Flynn after the White House learned that he lied because he is "somebody who served our country honorably in uniform for over 30 years".
"Trump flatly said that he had chose to fire Comey even before receiving a recommendation from the deputy attorney general.He also said he called on Comey to ask for an update on a possible criminal investigation into his ties with Russian Federation".
'The US President also said that two phone calls were made - one made by himself and another by Comey.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer.
"Remember, the bottom line with the Russian Federation stuff is the question of collusion during the campaign", a White House official said.
Monday's hearing was also a master class by Democrats in the use of innuendo and suspicion to maximize the political damage to the administration. "Her character and integrity are widely respected on both sides of political aisle".
Yates for example testified that she had seen a readout of an interview Flynn gave to the Federal Bureau of Investigation during January, before she headed to meet McGahn.
Standing before the lectern, Spicer refused to acknowledge that Yates's move to apprise the White House about Flynn was vindicated by subsequent events.
Nearly two weeks later, The Washington Post reported that Yates had expressed concerns to the White House about Flynn. During that period, Flynn accepted tens of thousands of dollars from a Russian state-sponsored television network.
First, she said, "the underlying conduct that General Flynn had engaged in was problematic in and of itself".