Sally Yates: Trump ’embraces Putin yet again’ in ‘unpatriotic’ comments

Former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates blasted President Trump on Saturday, calling him “shamelessly unpatriotic” for accepting Russian President Vlaidmir Putin’s denial that Russia interfered in the 2016 election.

“POTUS embraces Putin yet again telling world he believes former KGB agent’s denial of attack on our election over our own Intel public servants, calling them ‘political hacks.’ Disturbing and shamelessly unpatriotic, on Veterans Day no less,” Yates tweeted.

Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One Saturday that he wouldn’t “argue” with Putin over Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.

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“He said he didn’t meddle, he said he didn’t meddle. I asked him again. You can only ask so many times,” Trump said, according to pool reports.

“Every time he sees me he says, ‘I didn’t do that,’ and I really believe that when he tells me that, he means it,” he continued. “I can’t stand there and argue with him, I would rather have him get out of Syria, I would rather get to work with him on the Ukraine.”

Trump and Putin spoke this weekend in Vietnam during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit.

Trump also lashed out at former U.S. intelligence officials by name, including former CIA Director John Brennan, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and former FBI Director James Comey.

“I mean, give me a break, they are political hacks,” Trump said. “So you look at it, I mean, you have Brennan, you have Clapper and you have Comey. Comey is proven now to be a liar and he is proven now to be a leaker.”

Trump went on to contrast those officials with Putin, who he said “very strongly, vehemently” denied Russia interfered in the 2016 election.

Multiple U.S. intelligence agencies, including the CIA and FBI, have concluded that Russia did interfere in the 2016 election, and several congressional investigations are currently underway to determine the scale and scope of Russia’s interference.

The CIA reaffirmed that Director Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoOvernight Cybersecurity: What we learned from Carter Page’s House Intel testimony | House to mark up foreign intel reform law | FBI can’t access Texas shooter’s phone | Sessions to testify at hearing amid Russia scrutiny Trump sent CIA chief to meet ex-NSA official who claims DNC hack was inside job: report The Russian connection MORE “stands by” the intelligence community’s assessment that Russia interfered in the 2016 election in a statement Saturday.

Special counsel Robert Mueller is also leading an investigation into potential ties between Trump’s election campaign and Russian officials.

In January, Trump fired Yates from her post as acting attorney general just hours after she refused to have the Justice Department defend his executive order blocking people from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States.

This post originally appeared on The Hill

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