White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer on Tuesday accused former acting Attorney General Sally Yates of being a "political opponent of the president" because she informed the White House that then-National Security Adviser Michael Flynn lied about his contacts with Russia.
At Tuesday's press briefing, Spicer was asked why President Donald Trump waited 18 days to fire Flynn after Yates told the White House that Flynn had been "compromised" and was at risk of being blackmailed by Russia.
According to Spicer, Flynn was not removed from his duties immediately because of "an element of due process" after the White House "was informed of [Yates] giving us a heads up."
"Somebody came over, gave us a heads up, told us there were materials," he said. "Ultimately, the president made a decision that was the right one. So, I think the process worked."
Spicer said that Trump defended Flynn after the White House learned that he lied because he is "somebody who served our country honorably in uniform for over 30 years."
"The president does not want to smear a good man," the press secretary insisted. "Let's look at how this came down. Someone who is not exactly a supporter of the president's agenda who a couple of days after this conversation took place refused to uphold a lawful order of the president who was not exactly excited about President Trump by taking office or his agenda."
"Just because someone gives you a heads up doesn't mean you jump the gun and go take action," Spicer said. "What if we just dismissed someone because a political opponent of the president had made an utterance, you would argue that it's pretty irrational."
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