Former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates "got the best" of Sen. Ted Cruz when he asked her about the legality behind her decision to refuse defending President Donald Trump's initial travel ban, Sen. Amy Klobuchar said Tuesday, the day after Yates' testimony to a Senate Judiciary subcommittee hearing.
"She was just amazing," the Minnesota Democrat told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program. "She was so prepared, and I especially enjoyed her exchange with Sen. Cruz."
Cruz was prepared to ask Yates several questions about her decision, which eventually led to Trump firing her from the Department of Justice. However, Yates, who has been with the DOJ for several years, had quick answers for Cruz's questions, drawing praise from liberals.
"She clearly got the best of him in explaining what happened the day that she was basically fired from the Justice Department," Klobuchar told the program.
"But also more importantly, for the discussion today about Russia, [she was] really laying out that this was just not a heads-up she gave the White House."
Yates had been called to testify after reports she'd warned White House officials that former national security adviser Michael Flynn has compromised through communications with Russians. Flynn eventually resigned his post, almost three weeks after Yates offered her warning.
Klobuchar said Tuesday Flynn was kept on even after the warning from Yates, and had been involved in sensitive meetings during that time.
"What we saw was that this wasn't just some casual mention at a cocktail party," said the senator. "She gave very formal notice and both she and former director [James] Clapper made it clear when I asked them, when you say one thing on a tape and then you lie to the vice president and say something publicly, couldn't that be material for blackmail? And they both definitively said yes, it is."
Further, said Klobuchar, the Trump administration decided to keep Flynn on an additional 18 days after Yates' warning, "and in fact, two days after having this warning allowed him to sit in on an hour-long telephone call between the president of the United States and [Russian President] Vladimir Putin.
"This is just not something that anyone can imagine that we should be doing, when we have a foreign power that 17 intelligence agencies have said have tried to influence our democracy."
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