- Former top Trump campaign aide Sam Nunberg said he will not be cooperating with special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.
- Nunberg’s interviews on NBC and CNN on Monday went off the rails at times, as he grappled with a subpoena from Mueller and dished out harsh words for some of Trump’s top advisers.
- He also made some bold accusations about Trump, suggesting that, as a candidate, he may have known more about Russia’s attempts to influence the US election than he originally let on.
Sam Nunberg, a former top adviser to President Donald Trump, gave several cable-news interviews on Monday about a subpoena he received from special counsel Robert Mueller, the man in charge of the Russia investigation.
Some of those interviews went off the rails, including one with CNN host Jake Tapper.
Nunberg was ordered to turn over emails and other communications related to Trump and nine other people for Mueller’s probe into Russian interference in the 2016 US election.
Nunberg called the Mueller’s request “absolutely ridiculous” and said he would not cooperate with a “witch hunt” that could harm conservative provocateur Roger Stone – his “mentor” and a former Trump adviser.
“I’m not cooperating, arrest me,” Nunberg said. “I’m going to be the first one in history to flat out say, ‘I’m not going.'”
During his phone interview with Tapper, Nunberg stressed why he decided not to cooperate with Mueller: “I’m spending a lot of money on legal fees,” he said. “A lot of other people are.”
Nunberg also noted that he would have to spend “80 hours” looking for all the documents Mueller requested: “I shouldn’t have to spend that much time, I shouldn’t have to go back down to a grand jury.”
But his interview quickly took wings as he dropped several anecdotes about current and former members of Trump’s inner circle.
Though Nunberg’s comments have already raised eyebrows, he has been known to plant false stories in the media.
In November 2017, he admitted to making up a viral story that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie fetched McDonald’s for then-candidate Donald Trump.
“The sad reality is that it was believable,” Nunberg said as he laughed.
Nunberg made more claims during his interview blitz on Monday:
On President Donald Trump:
“Donald Trump caused this, because he’s an idiot,” Nunberg said referring to the Russia investigation. “He decided to give an interview to Lester Holt, the day after he fired James Comey, and then he decided to have Russians in the Oval Office. You’ll have to explain to me because I’ll never understand it.”
“I’m not going to be able to explain that to you Sam,” Tapper replied with a concerned look.
“No, nobody will,” Nunberg said.
Though Nunberg said during an interview with MSNBC’s Katy Tur that he believes Trump’s campaign had not colluded with the Russian government, he hinted that Mueller may have found other incriminating charges: “I think they may. I think that he may have done something during the election, but I don’t know that for sure,” he said.
On Carter Page, Trump’s former foreign-policy adviser and a key figure in Mueller’s investigation:
Nunberg called Page a “scumbag” and accused him of “colluding with the Russians.”
“I think that Carter Page is a weird dude,” Nunberg said. “I don’t think he should have been involved in that campaign.”
On White House communications director Hope Hicks:
Nunberg had harsh words for White House communications director Hope Hicks, who resigned on Wednesday and is expected to leave the administration soon.
Nunberg claimed he would refuse to hand over communications he had with people he “despises,” as he put it. One of those of people, he said, is Hicks.
Nunberg also accused Hicks of having an affair with Corey Lewandowski, Trump’s first campaign manager.
Page Six reported in May 2016 that Hicks and Lewandowski were seen having a “public shouting match” on a Manhattan street
On White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders:
Nunberg also had sharp words for White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ who commented on Nunberg’s public statements. Sanders said on Monday: “I definitely think he doesn’t know that for sure because he’s incorrect,” Sanders said, referring to some of the claims Nunberg made about the Trump campaign. “As we’ve said many times before there was no collusion with the Trump campaign. Anything further on what his actions are? He hasn’t worked at the White House so I certainly can’t speak to him or the lack of knowledge he clearly has.”
Nunberg responded to Sanders in an interview with CNN: “If she wants to attack me, I can attack her back,” he said.
He continued in a later interview with MSNBC host Ari Melber: “I’m warning her to shut her mouth.”
On the potential consequences of ignoring the Mueller subpoena:
In another interview on MSNBC, Nunberg appeared along with a panel of guests who offered him some legal advice live on-air. Nunberg told Melber: “I’m not going to jail – come on, Ari. Do you think I’m going to jail?”
Nunberg went back to CNN later Monday – this time with host Erin Burnett, during which she said that she smelled alcohol on Nunberg’s breath. Nunberg said he had not been drinking.
Burnett pressed him again: “You haven’t had a drink today?” “No,” Nunberg said.
“Anything else,” she asked, to which Nunberg replied, “No – besides my meds. Antidepressants, is that OK?”
Watch the exchange below:
Here's CNN's Erin Burnett telling former Trump aide Sam Nunberg that she can smell alcohol on his breath. He says he hasn't been drinking. pic.twitter.com/tryye9AiqA
— Jim Dalrymple II (@Dalrymple) March 6, 2018