- Former acting Attorney General Sally Yates gives in her first interview since her firing
- Yates said there was "certainly a criminal statute that was implicated by (Flynn's) conduct."
"There was nothing casual about this," Yates said in an interview with CNN's Anderson Cooper, reacting to White House press secretary Sean Spicer's assertion that her warning about Flynn's interactions with Russian representatives was a "heads up."
"I absolutely did not use the term heads up," Yates told Cooper. "I called (White House counsel) Don McGahn and told him I had a very sensitive matter I need to discuss with him that day in person."
The exclusive interview, which aired in its entirety Tuesday evening, was Yates' first on television since being fired by President Donald Trump. It was taped on Monday morning, prior to an explosive report by The New York Times that Trump had asked ousted FBI Director James Comey to end the investigation into Flynn.
Earlier this month, Yates testified in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism regarding the Trump campaign's alleged ties to Russia, particularly Flynn's contact with Russian Ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak.
Prior to Trump taking office, Flynn had discussed sanctions with the official.
During her testimony she said that, at the end of January, after reading the details of a Flynn interview with the FBI, she had called McGahn and warned him that Trump's national security adviser could easily become a blackmail target for Russians based on the answers Flynn gave to the FBI.
Responding to a question from Cooper on whether she agreed with the White House line that Flynn was dismissed over a "trust issue" rather than a legal one, she said, "I don't know how the White House reached the conclusion that there was no legal issue. It certainly wasn't from my discussion with them."