White House officials announced that Acting Attorney General Sally Yates has been fired. She earlier in the day went on the record refusing to defend President Donald Trump’s executive order on refugee and immigration ban, reports abc7.
Yates, a Democratic appointee, directed Justice Department attorneys to not to defend the executive order and stated she was not convinced that the order was lawful. Trump wasted no time, sending out Sean Spicer to say she had been “relieved” of her duties.
White House Press Secretary Spicer later tweeted that Dana Boente had been appointed as Acting Attorney General, stating that “Yates has been relieved.”
“Sean Spicer ✔ @PressSec
6:16 PM – 30 Jan 2017
.@POTUS has named Dana Boente, US Attorney for the Eastern District of VA as Acting Attorney General. Sally Yates has been relieved.”
Spicer’s tweet has so far received 3,235 Retweets and 3,437 likes and rising.
Her directive was temporary, given that Sen. Jeff Sessions, Trump’s pick for attorney general, will likely move to uphold the president’s policy. Sessions is awaiting Senate confirmation.
Still, Yates’ abrupt decision deepened the chaos surrounding Trump’s order.
At least three top national security officials – Defense Secretary James Mattis, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly and Rex Tillerson, who is awaiting confirmation to lead the State Department – have told associates they were not aware of details of directive until around the time Trump signed it.
Leading intelligence officials were also left largely in the dark, according to U.S. officials.