Former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates was fired by Donald Trump when she refused to defend his travel ban, which we all know is nothing more than a Muslim ban. On Tuesday, she explained to attendees at the Aspen Ideas Festival in Colorado why it was that she couldn’t bring herself to argue that this bill wasn’t based on religion.
“I came ultimately to the conclusion that our defending this travel ban would require me to send lawyers of the Justice Department to court to say this ban had nothing to do with religion – (that) it was all based on national security, nothing to do with religion,” Yates told the audience.
“And I did not believe that to be a defense that was grounded in truth and I couldn’t send Department of Justice lawyers in to defend something based on a defense that I did not believe was grounded in truth.”
The Trump administration did not consult the Justice Department while crafting the ban and Yates didn’t even know about it until she got a call from her principal deputy who had read about it in the New York Times. That was on a Friday evening. She studied the bill as much as she could over the weekend and then convened a meeting with “lifetime civil department staffers, holdover employees from President Obama’s time in office and newly-hired Trump staff.” Her question to them was simple: How would you defend Trump’s travel ban?
“We went around the table with my asking them, ‘All right, tell me why you think this is lawful? How are we going to defend this?’” Yates said. “Without revealing our internal discussions here, at the end of that, I was not comfortable that it was, in fact, lawful or constitutional and kept the senior Trump appointee back to tell him I was very uncomfortable where we were.”
After speaking to several other people about the Muslim ban, Yates said she just couldn’t defend it. So, Trump fired her like he fires anybody who doesn’t kiss his a** and tell him that he can do no wrong. Nevertheless, she persisted.
Watch Sally Yates explain why she couldn’t say Trump’s Muslim ban was anything other than just that, a Muslim ban, here:
— Josh Weinberger (@kitson) June 27, 2017
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