Society

Sally Yates Praised Online After Senate Testimony

| by Robert Fowler

Former Attorney General Sally Yates' congressional testimony made her a hit with progressives on the Internet, with several social media users even urging her to run for office.

On May 8, Yates testified before a Senate Judiciary subcommittee in relation to the chamber's probe of the Russian government's alleged interference in the 2016 presidential race.

During her testimony, the former top Department of Justice official revealed she had weeks before his firing warned the White House that former National Security Adviser retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn was vulnerable to Russian blackmail and defended her decision to not defend President Donald Trump's executive order on travel.

On Jan. 30, Trump fired Yates after she refused to defend his executive action banning U.S. admittance of refugees and citizens from several Muslim-majority countries, according to USA Today.

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The former attorney general's testimony was her most prominent public appearance since her dismissal, and progressives on social media praised both her disclosures and her demeanor, The Huffington Post reports.

"Sally Yates is the kind of woman America needs to lead us," tweeted out actor George Takei.

"Can't remember when there's been this much hype around a public figure's debut & they actually delivered," tweeted out MSNBC Justice and Security analyst Matthew Miller. "Quite a job by Sally Yates today."

Several social media users focused on Yates' back-and-forth with Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, who had questioned her decision not to defend Trump's executive order.

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Cruz had read aloud a section of the Immigration and Nationality Act to Yates and asked her if she was aware of the statute allowing a president to prohibit U.S. admittance for security reasons.

"I am also familiar with an additional provision of the INA, that says no person shall receive preference or be discriminated against in issuance of a visa because of race, nationality or place of birth," Yates responded.

Several social media users believed that Cruz was condescending towards Yates and praised the former attorney general's answers.

"Sally Yates handles condescending men so well you'd almost think she'd been doing it her whole life," one Twitter user said.

"In my darkest hours I will think of Sally Yates destroying Ted Cruz on national television, and it will sustain me," another Twitter user wrote.

Several social media users suggested that Yates run for office, signaling that she would receive liberal support.

"Can I vote [Sally Yates] for something, anything?" one Twitter user asked.

Democratic strategists in Georgia, Yates' home state, had already expressed interest in recruiting her for the 2020 gubernatorial race.

"I don't think you can think of any possible candidates in Georgia and not mention Sally Yates' name right now," Democratic operative Tharon Johnson told Politico. "She's a symbol of hope and resistance when it comes to standing up to Donald Trump."

Liberal commentator Keith Olbermann praised Yates on his GQ podcast, describing the former acting attorney general as an "American hero."

Olbermann blasted Trump for firing Yates sooner than Flynn after she had warned his administration that the national security adviser was vulnerable to blackmail, The Hill reports.

"You are the goddamn president of the goddamn United States, and your acting attorney general tells your White House counsel that your national security adviser was ‘compromised’ with respect to the Russians... And you fire the acting attorney general, not the national security adviser?" Olbermann said.

Sources: The Hill, The Huffington Post, PoliticoUSA Today (2) / Photo Credit: U.S. Department of Labor/Wikimedia Commons

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