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Obama starts defining his new role in the age of Trump

09 May 2017

Clapper's statement wasn't particularly surprising, given that he left his post at the end of President Barack Obama's term and had admitted to being unaware of the FBI's investigation into Trump and Russian Federation until FBI Director James Comey announced it at a hearing in March, according to CNN.

White House officials, including Vice President Mike Pence, had insisted that Flynn had not discussed USA -imposed sanctions with Kislyak during the presidential transition period. That is, she assumed - or at least played it as if she assumed - that every statement from Trump and Pence that disagreed with what she knew of Michael Flynn's activities, was because Flynn had misinformed others.

The Department of Justice received a detailed readout from the Federal Bureau of Investigation agents who had interviewed Flynn.

What criminal statutes did Flynn potentially violate?

Yates called McGahn "first thing Monday morning" to tell him he would be allowed to "come over and review the underlying evidence".

She was understood to be referring to telephone calls between Flynn and Russian ambassador to Moscow Sergey Kislyak before Trump took office.

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She also emerged as a major figure in the controversy surrounding retired Gen. Michael Flynn's short time as national security adviser, and appeared before the subcommittee on Monday to testify about alleged Russian attempts to interfere in the 2016 election. Nonetheless, the dossier served as a basis for a surveillance warrant against former Trump foreign policy campaign adviser Carter Page, according to CNN. "Clapper repeated his assertion today". Stolen emails to and from top Democratic Party officials, including then-DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, were released to the public last summer on the secret-sharing website WikiLeaks, followed in the fall by the hacked messages of John Podesta, the campaign chairman of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

Mr Trump has repeatedly said he has no ties to Moscow and is not aware of any involvement by his aides in any Russian interference in the election.

"You could rationalize that it helps the Russians by obfuscating who was actually responsible", Clapper said.

In a second tweet, Trump said Yates should be asked under oath "if she knows how classified information got into the newspapers" soon after she raised concerns about Flynn with McGahn.

The implication from both officials' testimonies was that there may, indeed, be evidence of collusion - this after months of the White House arguing that Clapper was clear there is no evidence. She never voiced the idea that Trump, Pence, or anyone else in their campaign might have knowingly colluded with Flynn to spread false information. Yates authored a letter on January 30 while still leading the Justice Department stating she was "not convinced" that a Trump executive order limiting travel and immigration from seven majority-Muslim countries was "lawful".

"I'm not", Yates responded. That created "a situation where the national security adviser, essentially, could be blackmailed by the Russians", Yates said.

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Democrats, meanwhile, pushed hard with lines of attack clearly aimed at damaging Trump himself, not necessarily digging into what happened in the 2016 elections.

During a speech Sunday night in Boston, he urged members of Congress to have "courage" as Trump presses for the repeal of his signature health care law, recalling the Democrats who were swept into office with him in 2009, but lost their seats after casting votes in favor of the "Obamacare" measure. At the end of the hypothetical exercise, Blumenthal pressed Yates if that was even remotely possible.

Clapper said he only learned of the probe in mid-March, when FBI Director James Comey revealed the investigation in a hearing before the House Intelligence Committee.

Her testimony, coupled with the revelation hours earlier that President Barack Obama himself had warned Donald Trump against hiring Flynn after the November election, made clear that alarms about Flynn had reached the highest levels of the USA government months before.

In three hours of testimony before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism, the Atlanta native said she met twice with White House counsel Donald McGahn to discuss the possibility of Flynn being vulnerable to blackmail by the Russians.

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Obama starts defining his new role in the age of Trump