But Trump would ultimately seek Flynn's resignation less than a month into his tenure, following news reports that Flynn had misled Vice President Mike Pence and other top officials about his conversations with Russia's ambassador to the United States.
Yates had been made into an enemy by the Trump administration after speaking out against the Muslim ban and Flynn's connections to Russian Federation, but was able to reveal a good amount of information about the situation.
US President Donald Trump insisted there is no evidence he colluded with Russia after a Senate hearing that highlighted warnings that his former national security advisor was vulnerable to Russian blackmail.
Just two days after the election, Obama urged President-elect Trump not to rehire Flynn, whom he once fired from the Pentagon.
President Trump has now fired three USA law enforcement officials who, at the time of their firings, were investigating his presidential campaign or administration. "To state the obvious, you don't want your national security adviser compromised with the Russians", Yates testified.
But Sen. Richard Blumenthal of CT deliberately raised the question of Flynn's possible guilt in an exchange with Yates.
More substantively, her testimony to a judiciary subcommittee represented the latest incremental step yet toward a broader understanding of why so many links have surfaced between Trump world and Russian Federation.
At the White House counsel's request, Yates had arranged for him to see the evidence against Flynn on Monday, Jan. 30.
"That created a compromise situation, where the national security adviser could essentially be blackmailed by the Russians", she said.
Yates said Trump's travel ban, which targeted several Muslim-majority counties, was "unlawful", and added, "All arguments have to be based on truth".
- CNN (@CNN) May 9, 2017REPORTER: First you said that Sally Yates was a "strong supporter of Hillary Clinton", what is that based on?
Trump said in a press conference three days after Flynn resigned, however, that when he looked at the information provided to him about Flynn's conversations with Kislyak, "I said, 'I don't think he did anything wrong". The first executive order was crafted nearly exclusively by White House staff with very little input from the agencies that would be responsible for implementing and enforcing it (even after it took effect, airport officials across the country were unclear about how it was supposed to work).
"Director Clapper reiterated what everybody, including the fake media already knows - there is "no evidence" of collusion w/ Russian Federation and Trump", Mr Trump said.
Did she campaign? Make any public statements?
Flynn had multiple contacts with Kislyak during the transition, including an in-person meeting at New York's Trump Tower that was also attended by the president's son-in-law, Jared Kushner.
"I think the process worked, frankly, when you think of the time in which we had the information", Spicer said during the press briefing.