Trump knew of Flynn's contacts with Russian Federation prior to his appointment

For example, she said that she'd twice met with the White House counsel to detail her concerns about Flynn.

The first happened on January 26, after Vice President Mike Pence said on CBS News's "Face the Nation" that Flynn did not discuss the Obama-imposed sanctions meant to punish Russia's election meddling during a meeting with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

Flynn's forced February resignation followed media reports that he had discussed US -imposed sanctions on Russian Federation with Ambassador Kislyak, which was contrary to the public representations of the Trump White House.

A senior US lawmaker pushed President Donald Trump's administration on Tuesday to respond to concerns that Russian Federation was responsible for a hacking attack on the campaign of French President-elect Emmanuel Macron.

Yates is expected to testify that she warned McGahn that Flynn's contacts - and the discrepancies between what the White House said happened on the calls and what actually occurred - had left him in a compromised position, according to a person familiar with her expected statements.

Yates described two concerns discussed in the first meeting: "Compromise was certainly the number one concern". And she says the Department of Justice knew that - what was said at that meeting between Flynn and Russia's ambassador.

Graham, the leader of Monday's hearing, also invited former President Barack Obama's national security adviser, Susan Rice, to testify with Yates and Clapper, but she rejected the invitation through her lawyer, noting the last-minute timing of the invitation.

Pence was also entitled to know Flynn had lied to him, Yates said.

And why should the Justice Department care if one White House official is telling untruths to another?

Yates was sacked by Trump one day after it came out that she had refused to defend his travel ban and four days after she first alerted McGahn about Flynn.

"My answer to that question would require me to reveal classified information", Yates said. "Are there other individuals inside the White House who have had conversations with the Russians that the White House knows about and they simply haven't been let go only because the public hasn't found out about it?"

During the hearing, Sen. But she noted that "you should not draw from that an assumption that that means that the answer is yes". He backed Macron after Trump appeared to side with nationalist candidate Marine Le Pen, calling her the strongest candidate on terrorism and borders. His resignation followed reports that Flynn discussed Russian Federation sanctions with Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, contrary to White House statements.

"President Obama made it known that he wasn't exactly a fan of Gen. Flynn's", White House spokesman Sean Spicer said.

"General Flynn was given the highest security clearance by the Obama Administration - but the Fake News seldom likes talking about that", Trump wrote on Twitter Monday morning.

MCEVERS: And Scott, all this comes back, as we said, to conversations that Michael Flynn had with Russia's ambassador in December. But the Senate Judiciary Committee has proved over the last two hearings (including last week's with Comey) that partisanship is still a powerful force in its own inquiry.

"I think there is an outstanding question as to whether there are other Michael Flynns", said Murphy. Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, who also testified, said he stood by past assertions that he had not seen evidence of such collusion but also declined to comment on classified matters. Nor did they authorize anyone else to do so, they said. Just over an hour after the Senate hearing ended, President Trump vented his frustration with the investigation, labeling the probe into any ties between his campaign and Russian Federation, a "total hoax", as he demanded to know, "when will this taxpayer funded charade end?"

He had previously told NBC "Meet the Press" host Chuck Todd that he was unaware of any evidence of collusion, but told the subcommittee the FBI generally does not share information about its counterterrorism investigations - leaving him out of the loop on such matters.

Trump has said he has no ties to Russian Federation and isn't aware of any involvement by his aides in Moscow's interference in the election.

Cornyn argued that, counter to Yates' orders to the Department not to enforce the travel ban, the DOJ had a "longstanding tradition of defending a presidential action in court if there are reasonable arguments in its favor".

  • Jon Douglas