Washington D.C. [USA], Jan. 31: President Donald Trump on Monday fired acting Attorney General Sally Yates for refusing to enforce a legal order designed to protect the citizens of the United States.
"(Yates) has betrayed the Department of Justice," the White House statement said. According to CNN, Dana Boente, US attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, has been named the new acting Attorney General, the White House said.
The dramatic move came soon after Yates told the Justice Department lawyers not to make legal arguments defending Trump's executive order on immigration and refugees.
The move set up a clash between the White House and Yates, who was appointed by former president Barack Obama and was set to serve until Senator Jeff Sessions, Trump's nominee for attorney general, is confirmed.
"My responsibility is to ensure that the position of the Department of Justice is not only legally defensible, but is informed by our best view of what the law is after consideration of all the facts," Yates said in a letter.
"In addition, I am responsible for ensuring that the positions we take in court remain consistent with this institution's solemn obligation to always seek justice and stand for what is right," she added.
Trump's executive order, signed Friday, bars the citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States for the next 90 days, suspends the admission of all refugees for 120 days and indefinitely suspends the Syrian refugee program.
Yates' decision came amid a flood of protests against the executive order nationwide and after four federal judges ruled against Trump's order, staying its impact on the people detained at the US airports over the weekend.
Trump tweeted his response shortly after the news broke, saying Democrats have stymied Sessions' confirmation, enabling Yates.
"The Democrats are delaying my cabinet picks for purely political reasons. They have nothing going but to obstruct. Now have an Obama A.G.," he said..