Bush attorney general: Yates should have resigned

Former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said early Tuesday that Sally Yates should have resigned from her post as acting attorney general if she did not agree with President TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse Republicans move to block Yemen war-powers votes for rest of Congress Trump says he's considering 10 to 12 contenders for chief of staff Michael Flynn asks judge to spare him from jail time MORE’s executive order barring citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States.

Gonzales, who served as attorney general under President George W. Bush, said there should have been conversations between Yates, the White House counsel, the chief of staff and the president over the disagreements regarding the order.

“And at that point, if the White House says we still want to move forward, I think it would have been appropriate for Sally Yates to then resign as opposed to sending out a blanket order to Department of Justice lawyers that they’re not going to defend this executive order,” Gonzales told CNN’s “New Day.”


Trump fired Yates late Monday after she refused to have the Justice Department defend the president’s executive order, which imposed a 90-day ban on citizens from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Somalia and Sudan entering the United States.

The order also includes a 120-day ban on accepting refugees and an indefinite halt on admitting refugees from Syria.

In a letter to Justice Department employees Monday, Yates said the agency would not defend the order.

"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,” she said.