So Sally Yates testified in front of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism on Monday, talking about Russian interference in the election. What else did she talk about? Well, the Muslim ban, for one, even though that had nothing to do with Russian interference, but Ted Cruz had to get some kind of jab in! (His jab failed, btw. I was actually embarrassed for him. Ted, dude, that must have been so embarrassing.) But largely she talked about trying to tell the White House that National Security Advisor Michael Flynn was talking with the Russians and lying about it, and how they were, like, “NBD.”
In this morning’s press briefing, Sean Spicer was quick to discredit Yates, saying it was perfectly reasonable to disregard her evidence-backed warnings because she’s a Clinton supporter (apparently), and I guess those are prone to lying about matters of national security? Whatever. Here he is.
SEAN SPICER. Again, how this came down: A — someone who is not exactly a supporter of the president’s agenda, who a couple days after this conversation took place refused to uphold a lawful order of the president,
Except that the “lawful” part is exactly why she — and a bunch of judges, like, a whole bunch — refused to uphold it. A lawful order? Well, the then-head of the Department of Justice didn’t think so.
who is not exactly someone that was excited about President Trump taking office or his — or his agenda.
She’d been [interruption from press pool] — she had come here, given a heads-up, told us there were materials,
So did she drop by on her way to yoga to poke her head through the door and say, “Oh, hey, Flynn’s been talking to the Russians, and there are transcripts and stuff. K, gotta motor”? Or did she sit down multiple times with the White House counsel, not only to let him know that Flynn was compromised but to actually try to convince him that that was a bad thing?
and at the same time we did what we should do. Just because someone comes in and gives you a heads-up about something and says, “I want to share some information,” doesn’t mean you immediately jump the gun and go take an action.
See, “jump the gun” actually refers to taking action prematurely — like if you jump forward to start a race, but the starter’s gun hasn’t gone off. In this case, the “gun” was Yates telling you that Flynn was compromised, and rather than jumping, you retied your shoe, stood up, stretched your quads a little, looked at the clouds, and only started running when the Washington Post reported that the gun had gone off two weeks ago.
I think if you flip the scenario and say, “What if we had just dismissed somebody because a political opponent of the president had made an utterance,”
The acting Attorney General — whom Trump himself asked to stay on until he had a new appointment confirmed — was Trump’s political opponent? How does that work?
you would argue that it was pretty irrational to act in that manner.
I mean, yeah. I’d want to hear if from someone in my administration, like the Attorney General or something. (Also someone I’d listen to: the guy’s former boss, who fired him.)
We did what we were supposed to do. The president made, ultimately, the right decision, and I think he was proven that — that —
REPORTER. How is she a political opponent of the president?
Hey, that was my question!
SPICER. She was — I — I — I —
REPORTER. She was acting attorney general that he kept on.
Write your own questions, reporter!
Appointed by the Obama administration,
… as Attorney General, and appointed 11 years earlier as acting U.S. Attorney by George W. Bush. Where are you going with that?
and a strong oppo — a strong supporter of — of Clinton.
Are you pulling things out of your ass again, Sean?
Are you, Sean?
You are, aren’t you.
Update: He wasn’t! His assertion that she’s a strong supporter of Clinton was based on… rumors that she was.
I — I think that — she’s made some — you know — I think she — it was widely rumored to play a large role in the Justice Department if Hillary Clinton had win — won.
Sorry, no — rumors that she would have benefited from a Clinton victory.
But they were widely rumored rumors.
That’s out of his ass again, isn’t it.