Sally Yates, the former acting attorney general who was fired by Trump in early 2017 after she declined to defend legal challenges against his first travel ban, lambasted the president on Tuesday for treating the U.S. “like it’s his family business.”
“His constant attacks on the FBI, the free press, inspectors general, federal judges, they all have one purpose: to remove any check on his abuse of power. Put simply, he treats our country like it’s his family business — this time, bankrupting our nation’s moral authority at home and abroad,” Yates said in taped remarks aired as part of the Democratic National Convention’s second night of speeches. “But our country doesn’t belong to him. It belongs to all of us.”
Yates also criticized Trump’s interactions with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“Rather than standing up to Vladimir Putin, he fawns over a dictator who is still trying to interfere in our elections,” Yates said. “From the moment President Trump took office, he’s used his position to benefit himself, rather than our country. He’s trampled the rule of law, trying to weaponize our Justice Department to attack his enemies and protect his friends.”
Yates assumed the role of acting attorney general when Obama-appointed attorney general Loretta Lynch resigned shortly after Trump was inaugurated. She held the role for just 10 days, and was fired after she instructed the Justice Department not to make legal defenses of Executive Order 13769, which severely reduced how many refugees would be allowed into the United States, temporarily suspended the program that processes refugees, blocked refugees from Syria indefinitely, and suspended travel from a number of Muslim-majority nations.
Watch her remarks at the top of the page, or click here.