Former acting attorney general Sally Yates had no time for condescending nonsense during her testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday.
Fired in late January by President Trump because she refused to defend his travel and immigration ban, she testified about her concerns surrounding former national security adviser Michael Flynn. She told the Senate subcommittee that she warned the White House in late January about Flynn, who eventually resigned because he misled Vice President Mike Pence about his Russian contacts. She also said that the Trump administration was aware of her concern that Flynn was vulnerable to blackmail by Russia.
"We wanted to tell the White House as quickly as possible," she said in her testimony. "To state the obvious: You don’t want your national security adviser compromised with the Russians."
Back in January, Yates made her explicit warning to White House counsel Donald McGahn.
"The vice president was unknowingly making false statements to the public and ... we believed that General Flynn was compromised with respect to the Russians," she said Monday during her testimony. "We felt like the vice president and others were entitled to know that the information that they were conveying to the American people wasn't true."
Still, it took 18 days for the former national security adviser to be ousted. (The move was triggered by a The Washington Post story about Flynn, detailing many of the events confirmed by Yates yesterday.)
Her testimony and unflinching behaviour in front of a barrage of questioning by hostile Republican senators got her a lot of praise on social media.
One of the main reasons Yates was so celebrated was how she handled the way some male senators approached her. She was poised but firm when answering their questions and explaining her decisions.
But the best part was when she clapped back hard at not one, but two different senators who questioned her integrity and diluted the reasoning behind her decision to not defend President Trump's travel ban.
In the end, the congressional hearing was a master class on how much condescension and mansplaining women have to deal with every single day.
Predictably, Yates got a shoutout from President Trump, who seemed to dismiss her testimony, even though it opened the way for a lot of new questions the White House needs to answer.
Whatever happens next, Yates will remain a hero in the minds of many. She is the woman who declined to defend an executive order she thought to be unconstitutional, who warned the White House about Michael Flynn, and who schooled Sen. Ted Cruz and other mansplainers without batting an eye. We all have to admit she's an incredible woman, right?