Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates is casting doubt on the claim that former national security adviser Michael Flynn opened himself up to blackmail by the Russian government by making misleading statements about his phone calls with Russia’s ambassador.
“In all honesty, I think it’s kind of a stretch,” Gates said Sunday when asked about the Flynn blackmail theory during an interview on CBS News’ “Face the Nation.”
The claim that Flynn was a prime blackmail target of the Kremlin was made last week by former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates.
Yates testified at a Senate hearing that she warned White House general counsel Donald McGahn about Flynn and his contacts with the ambassador, Sergey Kislyak. Flynn misled Vice President Mike Pence about the calls by claiming that he and Kislyak did not discuss sanctions.