Tuesday, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer responded to reports from The Washington Post that the administration of President Donald Trump "sought to block" testimony by former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates at a now-cancelled House Intelligence Committee hearing on Russian ties to the president that had been originally scheduled for today. The press secretary called the Post reporting "false" and walked through the White House's version of the sequence of events, leading up to the press conference.

Spicer reported that the acting AG was invited to give testimony by representatives from California, Republican Devin Nunes and Democrat Adam Schiff, on March 14.

Then, on March 23, Yates' attorney addressed a letter to the Justice Department, "asking for consent to testify without constraints."

Spicer, Washington Post offer different versions of events

The same day, March 24, Yates' attorney sent a letter to the White House's lawyer, asking for permission to testify, unconstrained by the president's privileges, and stating that if they didn't hear from the administration by 10 a.m. on March 27, they would assume that "the White House does not exert executive privilege over these matters." Spicer stated that the White House offered no response, therefore it had taken "no action to prevent Ms. Yates from testifying."

The White House press secretary's reporting of events, while matching the Post's, leaves out some seemingly important details reported by the Post, including the fact that the hearing was said to have been cancelled the same day that Yates' attorney sent the deadline-instating letter, by the Republican chair, Devin Nunes.

The Washington Post writes that it was the Justice Department who first contacted Yates, and informed her that information she learned while serving as acting AG was "bound by attorney-client confidentiality." Yates' attorney, while agreeing that classified information should not be shared during testimony, stated that she "should not be obligated to refuse to provide non-classified facts."

Questions surround Devin Nunes

Hallie Jackson, with MSNBC, asked about questions swirling around Devin Nunes with regard to growing calls from Democrats for the House Intelligence Committee chair to "recuse himself." When asked directly if the Trump administration had asked him to cancel the meeting scheduled to feature Yates' non-attorney-client-privilege-bound testimony, the representative reportedly declined to comment, and was asked if he personally wished to prevent her from testifying.

"Look, you guys are just speculating," Nunes was quoted.

Sally Yates was appointed as deputy attorney general, in 2010, during former President Barack Obama's tenure in the White House, and served as acting attorney general after President Trump was inaugurated on January 21. The president fired Yates after she refused to defend his first executive order banning travel from Muslim-majority nations, among other measures, on January 30.