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Obama warned Trump against hiring Flynn before inauguration

Yates filled in new details of the events of January 26, describing contacting McGahn in the morning and telling him she had something sensitive to discuss in person. "The Russians also knew about what General Flynn had done, and the Russians also knew that General Flynn had misled the vice president". Trump was left with no choice but to fire Flynn in February - Pence would have likely resigned otherwise - but he has maintained all along that he believes his former national security adviser did nothing wrong.

"The Russians also knew about what General Flynn had done", Yates said, according to The Washington Post. He accepted the payments, the investigators say, after specifically being warned when he retired from the military to not take money from foreign governments.

In an interview with MSNBC, Susan Rice, Obama's national security adviser, acknowledged that she had sometimes asked for the names of Americans who were referenced in intelligence reports, but denied that she or anyone else in the administration used those reports for political intelligence purposes.

Ms Yates was appointed by the Obama administration and was sacked by Mr Trump on January 30 for refusing to defend his travel ban.

Neither Yates nor Clapper would comment on actual Team Trump collusion with Russian Federation, saying they couldn't discuss classified info.

Despite firing Flynn, Trump has tried to paint his former national security adviser as a victim of illegal leaks of classified information by Obama officials. That was why they ignored Yates's warning, why Trump ignored Obama's warning, and only fired Flynn once the media made Flynn's being compromised by the Russians a big story.

An FBI investigation and congressional probes into the Trump campaign and contacts with Russian Federation continue to shadow the administration, almost four months into Donald Trump's presidency.

"President Obama's former Director of National Intelligence and his former acting CIA Director have both said they have seen no evidence of collusion". He said Flynn's security clearance had been renewed in April 2016, and the Obama White House had not stepped in to revoke it.

Mr Trump has repeatedly said he has no ties to Moscow and is not aware of any involvement by his aides in any Russian interference in the election.

Yates told the panel that she had a meeting with White House Counsel Donald McGahn on January 26 to tell him that she had information that statements by Vice President Mike Pence, based on his conversations with Flynn, were false.

"It's true that President Obama made it known that he wasn't exactly a fan of Gen Flynn's", Spicer said, but added that such remarks were unsurprising as Flynn had been an outspoken critic of the Obama administration's policies.

No doubt White House spokesman Sean Spicer and Trump himself would much rather be talking about the House vote to repeal Obamacare last week or the President's debut foreign trip in a couple of weeks.

The AP interviewed multiple former US officials, most of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity in order to discuss sensitive national security information.

Clapper confirmed, as well, that British intelligence and other European allies passed information to the United States in late 2015 and early 2016 about Trump campaign ties to Russian Federation.

"I don't have any way of knowing what, if anything, they did", Yates said.

The wiretapped conversations between Flynn and Kislyak remain classified, and Yates avoided even acknowledging them. The most pressing one is why it took 18 days for Flynn to be let go, after the White House was told he was compromised.

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