‘Grandstanding’ or ‘hero’?: Social media reacts to firing of acting AG Sally Yates
“All hail Sally Yates” was a sentiment echoed in a number of tweets after news of her firing broke. Her defiant instruction to Department of Justice lawyers not to defend Trump’s travel ban executive order was praised in some tweets as lawful and a good example of how her job should be done.
One tweeter hopes Yates enacts a revenge of sorts by stealing office stationery as she departs.
Other social media users accused her of being self-indulgent or grandstanding, and some compared the issue to that of Kim Davis in 2015, a county clerk in Kentucky who refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, leading to her imprisonment.
A 2015 video of Yates being vetted for the role has also been circulated by Twitter users, claiming it foreshadows her firing. In the clip, Yates is asked if she thinks the attorney general has a responsibility to stand up to the president. She replies by saying the AG role carries an “obligation to follow the law and the Constitution, and to give their independent legal advice to the president.”
In the video, Yates is questioned by Trump’s current attorney general nominee, Senator Jeff Sessions.