It turns out last week’s Senate testimony from former acting Attorney General Sally Yates was just a warm up act for what she’s now ready to reveal on her own terms. Yates has conducted a television interview which focuses heavily on how she caught National Security Adviser Michael Flynn’s connections to Russia, and how Donald Trump fired her. Here’s what you need to know about the interview.
First, don’t expect this to go like a tell-all tabloid interview. Sally Yates is still a professional, and she’s not going to just start calling Trump dirty names. Nor is she able to reveal any aspects of the Trump-Russia saga that are classified. But she is a private citizen now, and her decision to grant this interview suggests that she doesn’t believe her Senate testimony allowed her to get the full picture out there to the American public.
This isn’t surprising, considering that every member of the Senate subcommittee who asked questions of Sally Yates was either trying to expose Trump’s Russia scandal or protect him from it for partisan reasons. But today’s interview should go differently. Anderson Cooper has been chosen as the interviewer, and while he does sometimes like to sound tough, he’s probably gone into this interview with the awareness that Yates has a story to tell that people want to hear, and that his best move is to get out of the way and let her tell it.
For its part, CNN has only given away one meaningful piece of the puzzle in advance, a clip in which Sally Yates says of Michael Flynn that “certainly a criminal statute that was implicated by his conduct” (link). The full interview is set to air tonight on CNN at 8:00pm eastern time. Look for Donald Trump to begin defensively tweeting mean things about Yates and Cooper in that same timeframe.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report