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Sally Yates: Feds Probing Russia-Trump Ties May Fear Their Jobs

Sally Yates: Feds Probing Russia-Trump Ties May Fear Their Jobs

Fired Acting Attorney General Sally Yates thought the White House should've moved quickly to address her warnings that axed National Security Adviser Michael Flynn could be blackmailed by Russian Federation. "The Russians had real leverage". But she indicated during her testimony last week that Flynn's potential criminal activity may have occurred in an interview he had with the Federal Bureau of Investigation on January 24 about his conversations with the Russian ambassador, Sergey Kislyak. He also had lied to the vice president of the United States.

The White House has played down Yates' warnings, with Trump just last week telling NBC News' Lester Holt that the situation "did not sound like an emergency". Flynn denied that they had discussed American sanctions, an assertion echoed by Vice President Mike Pence and the White House press secretary, Sean Spicer.

YATES: There's certainly a criminal statute that was implicated by his conduct. After directing the Justice Department to not defend the executive order she said she knew dismissal was a possibility, but that it still was a "punch in the gut" when the letter arrived.

Yates, who was appointed by President Barack Obama, was sacked as acting attorney general at the end of January when she refused to defend the President's first attempt at a ban on travelers and refugees entering the United States from a number of Muslim-majority countries.

Yates: Absolutely, yes. We expected the White House to act.

Cooper: There was urgency to the information?

If the sources are true and Yates really is headed for a political run, she will have monumental support behind her for her strength against this corrupt administration.

He reiterated that he fired Flynn not because of Yates' warning but because Flynn misled Pence.

Liberals have celebrated Yates as a new hero and encouraged her to run for Georgia's open governor seat in 2018. Conservatives condemn her as a grandstanding hack out to raise her profile by defying a sitting president's order.

Ultimately, she told Cooper, she has no regrets about her decisions during her tenure as acting attorney general.

In a second interview released Tuesday, Yates said that Flynn, in his clandestine contacts with Russian operatives, had possibly committed a crime or crimes.

"There have been a number of tweets that have given me pause", she said. President Trump asked for his resignation on February 13.

COOPER: I'm just wondering, just on a personal level, and I don't know if you can answer this or not, but, you know, you were in - you're in government one week.

But senior F.B.I. and Justice Department officials knew otherwise.

"I recognize that I may have a voice that I didn't have before", she said in The New Yorker interview. Does that - when you heard that, what did you think?