"If she testifies, then great", he said. "I look forward to it", Spicer shot back, when asked about the article. "We have no problem with her testifying, plain and simple".
"The White House has taken no action to prevent Sally Yates from testifying and the Department of Justice specifically told her that it would not stop her and to suggest otherwise is completely irresponsible", Spicer said.
House intelligence committee chair Devin Nunes canceled a public hearing on Russian meddling in the election scheduled for Tuesday, saying the time was needed to hear privately from Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey and Adm. Mike Rogers, the head of the National Security Agency.
The same day she received the letter, the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Congressman Devin Nunes canceled Yates' scheduled testimony. It warns that there is a limit to what she could reveal in her testimony and that "she needs to consult with the White House". It's a legal tactic created to elicit a response, but the White House says they did not respond, therefore, they did not block Yates from testifying, they claim.
Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, disputed the story, calling it "entirely false".
"The only person the committee has spoken to about her appearing before the committee has been her lawyer".
"To date, we have made 20 requests for individuals to be interviewed by the committee", Burr said.
O'Neil, Yates' attorney, declined to comment or provide the letter he sent to the White House Counsel's office when contacted by CNN Tuesday.
Ms Yates had been expected to tell a congressional intelligence committee on Wednesday what she knows about meetings between Donald Trump's former national security adviser Michael Flynn and the Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak.
The committee's top Democratic member, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), has said that action alone sufficiently crossed the line where Nunes must recuse himself. Nunes, for his part, defended his previously undisclosed trip to the White House grounds, telling CNN's Wolf Blitzer that he had to view the classified documents in an executive branch location because the intelligence community had not yet provided them to Congress.
However, a source at the Federal Bureau of Investigation said the reason Comey couldn't make the hearing was because he was never invited.
The controversy over the canceled public hearing and the unscheduled Comey-Rogers followup session increased demands for Nunes to step down from the House investigation.