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Sally Yates Warns Russians are ‘Pretty Crafty’ When It Comes to Blackmail, Compromising Dirt

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During a rare interview with MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, Former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates recalled her concern over former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and said she was still bewildered by the White House’s delay in taking action following her warning that he might be compromised by Russia.

“I certainly can’t figure it out myself as to why they took all of that time,” she said, referencing the 18 days that passed before President Donald Trump‘s administration addressed the matter.

Yates explained she was persistent, and “came knocking on the door telling them they had a serious problem with their national security adviser,” even returning the following day “to give them even more information about that and made it really clear to them that we were telling them this so they could act.”

She stressed this was not an issue to be taken lightly, and although she sounded the alarm on Flynn expecting consequential action, “nothing happened.”

Speculating as to what specifically may have compromised Flynn and how it could be used against him, Maddow then asked Yates to provide some hints as to what blackmail might have looked like for the ex-Trump staffer.

“The Russians are pretty crafty with this,” Yates said. “They can do the overt type of threats like you just described they also can do the more subtle forms. They can just let you know that they have evidence that would be embarrassing and troubling to you.”

Flynn is still awaiting sentencing after admitting to lying to FBI officials about his communications with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak on sanctions, something which, if recorded, might have been used as leverage against him.

“It had become such a big public thing and there were denials out there about various members of the White House, all the way to the vice president, saying this had not happened,” Yates said of the sanctions talk. “Then when the Russians had what we expected were recordings that would prove that it did, that’s the kind of thing you can hang over someone’s head. And no administration should want their national security adviser to be in a position where he or she is compromised with the Russians.”

Watch the clip above via MSNBC.

[Image via screengrab]

Follow Amy Russo on Twitter: @amymrusso

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