Former acting Attorney General Sally Yates, during an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper that will air on Tuesday night, reiterated that Russia had “real leverage” against former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.
In a preview released on Tuesday morning, Cooper asks Yates about a variety of issues, including whether she expected President Donald Trump to act quickly on firing Flynn after she met with White House counsel and her reaction to the apparent belief by Trump that she leaked classified information to the press about Flynn.
Trump asked for Flynn’s resignation after a Feb. 13 Washington Post report revealed that the Justice Department had warned the White House that Flynn misled Vice President Mike Pence about the nature of his conversations with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.
Yates revealed in her testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing last week that she informed the White House that Flynn was “compromised” by the Russian government, which also knew that he had misled Pence.
Speaking with Cooper, Yates echoes answers she gave during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing that at times became somewhat contentious.
“I think that this was a serious compromise situation, that the Russians had real leverage,” Yates said. “He also had lied to the vice president of the United States. Whether he is fired or not is a decision for the president of the United States to make, but it doesn’t seem like that’s a person who should be sitting in the National Security Advisor position.”
Cooper also asked Yates about Trump’s apparent belief that Yates leaked classified information to the Washington Post about Flynn.
Ask Sally Yates, under oath, if she knows how classified information got into the newspapers soon after she explained it to W.H. Counsel.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 8, 2017
“I did not, and I would not, leak classified information,” Yates responded after Cooper asked her directly whether she leaked, or authorized someone to leak, information to the newspaper.
When Cooper pressed about Trump’s belief that she leaked the information, he asked how she felt about that.
“There have been a number of tweets that have given me pause,” she said.
When asked if she wanted to elaborate, Yates said “no,” before chuckling.
The interview is scheduled to run at 8pm ET on CNN.