Ex-attorney general says had warned Trump of Flynn's contacts

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President Donald Trump's press secretary found himself on the defensive Tuesday, a day after the former acting attorney general testified she had informed the White House in late January that then national security advisor Michael Flynn was vulnerable to blackmail by the Russians.

Sally Yates said on Monday that White House Counsel Don McGahn asked her, "Why does it matter to the DOJ if one White House official lies to another official?"

The president has continued to defend Flynn and attack Yates on social media, while calling alleged collusion between his presidential campaign and Russian Federation "a hoax".

Yates said that although the office concluded the order was lawful, the office's focus was "narrow" and ignored contextual factors that she said undermined the legality of the order.

"I want to know more about Trump's business dealings", Graham told CNN Tuesday.

"Not to my knowledge", Clapper replied.

But Trump stunned Obama advisers with his March 4 tweets accusing Obama of wiretapping his NY skyscraper during the election, an explosive allegation that has been denied by FBI Director James Comey and other national security officials.

Obama's stop in Germany will coincide with Trump's first visit to Europe as president, likely setting up a stark contrast between the 44th and 45th presidents on the world stage. Which means there's nearly certainly something troubling for the Trump White House in the latest Michael Flynn revelations, courtesy of Sally Yates. It was not immediately clear how those constraints would affect her testimony on the Flynn question.

"The efforts by a foreign adversary to interfere and undermine our democratic processes - and those of our allies - pose a serious threat to all Americans", Yates said.

Asked if Trump's tax returns could be helpful to such an investigation, Graham said: "It could be, down the road".

Comey releases a statement saying the Federal Bureau of Investigation will not recommend charges against Clinton, which enraged critics who said it is not the director's role to make such an announcement.

Obama warned Trump about hiring Michael Flynn
President Trump on Monday appeared to accuse Ms Yates of leaking information to media on Twitter, which she denied during the hearing.

At Monday's hearing, Clapper pulled this rug out from under the White House and its comrades.

Carter Page, a foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign, met with a Russian intelligence operative in 2013 and provided him documents about the energy industry, according to court documents from a 2015 prosecution alleging a Cold War-style spy ring in NY. Consequently, when Clapper told Todd that he was not familiar with any evidence of Trump-Russia collusion, he was speaking accurately.

The House and Senate intelligence committees are conducting their own simultaneous investigations. This piece of spin should now be buried. Trump can no longer hide behind this one Clapper statement.

Obama delivered the warning during the first Oval Office meeting between the Democratic president and his Republican successor on November 10, the aide said on condition of anonymity.

Asked about it, Yates said answering the question would require revealing classified information.

Clapper previously made a similar comment in an interview on NBC.

A White House official drew attention to this portion of the hearing as well, telling CNN that "the bottom line" on the Russian Federation inquiries is the question of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation.

Mr Trump's press secretary Sean Spicer said in response that if Mr Obama "was seriously concerned" about Mr Flynn's connections to Russian Federation or other foreign countries, he should have withheld Mr Flynn's security clearance. "Graham, I can't comment on that because that impacts the investigation".

Despite Clapper's clarification, Trump once again used his Meet the Press remark to try and undercut the story following Monday's hearing, even going so far as to it for his Twitter header image.

But the bigger problem with the January 6 report is that it was entirely one-sided, citing reasons to believe the Russians were guilty but ignoring equally strong reasons to doubt the Russians' guilt.