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FILE - In this Jan. 26, 2012, file photo, Dana Boente, then-First Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia leave federal court in Alexandria, Va. President Donald Trump has fired Acting Attorney General Sally Yates after she announced she would not defend his controversial immigration order. And he’s naming Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, to serve in her place. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

Trump fired Acting US Attorney General Yates and replaced her with Dana Boente


UPDATE: Jan. 30 at 9:22 p.m. 

President Donald Trump fired Acting U.S. Attorney General Sally Yates Monday night for "refusing to enforce a legal order." 

The White House released a statement calling Yates "weak on borders and very weak on illegal immigration." 

"It is time to get serious about protecting our country," the White House said in a statement. "Calling for tougher vetting for individuals traveling from seven dangerous places is not extreme. It is reasonable and necessary to protect our country." 

Dana Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, was tapped to serve as Acting Attorney General until Sen. Jeff Sessions is confirmed by the Senate. 

Original Story 

Acting U.S. Attorney General Sally Yates told lawyers with the Department of Justice not to make legal arguments defending President Donald Trump's executive order on refugees and immigrants.

Sources told CNN Yates does not believe Trump's temporary order to prevent refugees and immigrants from seven majority-Muslim countries from entering the United States is lawful. 

"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 obtained by CNN. "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." 

Yates will continue serving as acting attorney general until Trump's nominee for the position, Jeff Sessions, is confirmed. She was appointed deputy attorney general by former President Barack Obama but became acting attorney general when Loretta Lynch left. 

Yates' order can only be enforced while she's in office. 

There are at least five states -- Virginia, New York, Massachusetts, Washington, and California -- challenging the order. 

CNN reports that this move will effectively stop Trump's executive order until Sessions is confirmed. 

Senate Democrats introduced a bill to block Trump's travel ban

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