Monday night massacre: Senate Democrats call Sally Yates a "profile in courage"

Democrats and Republicans are split on partisan lines in reacting to Trump's firing of Sally Yates

By Matthew Rozsa

Staff Writer

Published January 31, 2017 12:37PM (EST)

 ((AP Photo/J. David Ake, File))
((AP Photo/J. David Ake, File))

After President Trump fired acting attorney general Sally Yates on Monday for refusing to carry out his Muslim immigration ban, his critics blasted the decision, even as conservatives were split on the choice.

Trump's allies, naturally, praised their president for removing someone he claimed had "betrayed the Department of Justice by refusing to enforce a legal order designed to protect the citizens of the United States." They also took advantage of a phrase that Trump once made famous.


Former White House counsel John Dean — who was key in President Richard Nixon's "Saturday Night Massacre" during the height of the Watergate scandal — was highly critical of Trump's choice.

In a press release on Monday morning, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi wrote that "the Acting Attorney General was fired for upholding the Constitution of the United States.  What the Trump Administration calls betrayal is an American with the courage to say that the law and the Constitution come first." Meanwhile, Senate Democrats were outspoken in their disgust at Yates' termination.

The brouhaha over Yates' firing is likely to subside once Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama is confirmed as her replacement.

By Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer at Salon. He received a Master's Degree in History from Rutgers-Newark in 2012 and was awarded a science journalism fellowship from the Metcalf Institute in 2022.

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