President Trump went on the offensive ahead of Sally Yates’ much-anticipated Senate testimony Monday, hinting that she be might tied to the leaks that brought down his former national security adviser.
“Ask Sally Yates, under oath, if she knows how classified information got into the newspapers soon after she explained it to W.H. Council,” Trump tweeted hours before Yates, his former acting attorney general, was set to testify about retired U.S. Army general Michael Flynn.
He later reposted the tweet with “counsel” spelled correctly.
Trump fired Yates 11 days into his presidency after she told the Justice Department not to defend his travel bans, which would eventually be halted by federal courts.
Less than two weeks later, Flynn resigned after reports that he misled White House officials about a December conversation with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak about sanctions.
Yates is expected to testify Monday afternoon about her early warning to White House counsel Donald McGahn about Flynn’s talk and his lies. The White House has worked in advance to refute her story, saying that Yates never stated serious concerns about Flynn’s Russia relations.
There has been no proof that, as Trump indicates, Yates was behind the leaks that led to Flynn’s downfall.
Trump still stood by Flynn as of Monday morning, writing in another tweet, “General Flynn was given the highest security clearance by the Obama Administration — but the Fake News seldom likes talking about that.”
Yates will testify while the FBI continues its probe into whether the Trump campaign had its own secret ties to Russia — something Trump and the White House have denied.