President Donald Trump criticized former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates on May 8 over her testimony regarding Russia and Michael Flynn, Trump's former national security adviser (video below).
"We believed that General Flynn was compromised with respect to the Russians," Yates told a Senate subcommittee hearing, notes CNN. "Logic would tell you that you don't want the national security adviser to be in a position where the Russians have leverage over him."
According to the timeline presented by Yates, she met with White House counsel Don McGahn to warn him about Flynn, who was not fired by Trump until 18 days later.
Talking Points Memo notes that Trump tweeted about Yates:
Sally Yates made the fake media extremely unhappy today -- she said nothing but old news!
The Russia-Trump collusion story is a total hoax, when will this taxpayer funded charade end?
Biggest story today between Clapper & Yates is on surveillance. Why doesn't the media report on this? #FakeNews!
Earlier in the day, Trump tweeted and later deleted: "Ask Sally Yates, under oath, if she knows how classified information got into the newspapers soon after she explained it to W.H. Council," notes RawStory.com.
CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin said Trump was "essentially threatening a witness":
But if I can just say one thing about the president's tweets, today. It just shows how much the norms of behavior have changed. The idea of the president of the United States essentially threatening a witness, he’s basically accusing her of leaking, we have never had that before.
We’ve never had presidents who did this kind of thing. The misspelling is the least of it. The idea that the president, the guy who’s in charge of the Justice Department, is threatening a witness is really kind of disturbing.
Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina praised Yates on MSNBC, reports Mediaite.com:
I thought General Clapper and Yates were excellent witnesses. I thought she did the right thing by going to the White House general counsel knowing what she did about the Flynn-Russian ambassador conversation, saying you've got a problem with Flynn because he could be compromised. She did absolutely the right thing from what I can tell....
18 days later the guy is fired. What did I learn? I learned apparently there was unmasking of a Trump campaign operative and maybe a member of Congress during the 2016 election. That's the first time I've ever heard of that. But the bottom line here is that I think Sally Yates did the right thing in terms of her role in all this.