Acting Attorney General Sally Yates, a holdover from the Obama administration, took a public stance against President Donald Trump‘s so-called “Muslim Ban.” In a whirlwind set of events since Yates’ statement, Trump fired Yates Monday night (Jan. 30) and the reaction across social media has been robust.
Trump’s executive order has been dominating the news cycle since the weekend, and protests against the measure have been ramping up across the nation. Yates issued a memo to her staff that Justice Department lawyers should not defend any challenges to President Trump’s ban and said that she didn’t think the executive order was lawful.
“At present, I am not convinced that the defense of the Executive Order is consistent with these responsibilities nor am I convinced that the Executive Order is lawful,” Yates said in the memo. “For as long as I am the Acting Attorney General, the Department of Justice will not present arguments in defense of the Executive Order, unless and until I become convinced that it is appropriate to do so.”
A message from the White House said that Yates “betrayed” the Trump administration and that she was let go because Yates was “weak” on border control and immigration, jobs that were not her full responsibility.
The reaction to Yates firing, who some are hailing as a hero, has been swift. We’ve collected some of the best we could find below and on the following pages. The hashtag #MondayNightMassacre has some of the more pointed reactions thus far. The so-called “Saturday Night Massacre” refers to shamed President Richard Nixon and his clashes with the Attorney General’s Office over the controversial Watergate investigation.
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