Trump Mum on Firing of AG Sally Yates After He Accused Her of 'Betraying' Justice Department
He fired her Monday night after she spoke out against his immigration ban.
On Tuesday morning, President Trump was at the White House urging pharmaceutical executives to lower drug prices, but was silent on the firing of Acting Attorney General Sally Yates the night before.
Yates said she refused to defend the 45th president’s immigration order after she sent a memo to Justice Department lawyers Sunday.
"At present, I am not convinced that the defense of the executive order is consistent with these responsibilities, nor am I convinced that the executive order is lawful," she wrote.
When President Trump got wind of the memo, he accused Yates of "betraying" the Department of Justice. By Monday night, she was fired.
"The acting attorney general, Sally Yates, has betrayed the department of justice by refusing to enforce a legal order designed to protect the citizens of the United States," the White House said in a statement. "This order was approved as to form and legality by the Department of Justice office of legal counsel."
But Yates' actions should not come as a surprise to those who watched her 2015 confirmation hearing. At the time, she was questioned by Sen. Jeff Sessions, who is now Trump's nominee for attorney general.
At one point, Sessions asked Yates: "Do you think the attorney general has the responsibility to say no to the president if he asks for something that's improper?"
“Senator, I believe the attorney general or the deputy attorney general has an obligation to follow the law and the constitution, and to give their independent legal advice to the president," she replied.
A recent Quinnipiac University poll shows the country is split over the president's new policy to ban for travelers from seven Muslim-majority nations — 48 percent of the country supports the ban while 42 percent oppose it.
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