Former Trump campaign aide Sam Nunberg dropped some outrageous claims during an interview blitz on the Russia investigation

sam nunberg

  • 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.”

Sam Nunberg

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.

Robert Mueller

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 Berman: “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 Berman: “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:

SEE ALSO: ‘I think it would be funny if they arrested me’: Former Trump campaign aide melts down on TV amid Mueller subpoena

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Defense Attorneys Have Some Legal Advice for Sam Nunberg: 'Pack Your Toothbrush—Prepare for Jail' – Daily Beast

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Defense Attorneys Have Some Legal Advice for Sam Nunberg: ‘Pack Your Toothbrush—Prepare for Jail’

The former Trump campaign aide’s decision to potentially ignore a subpoena has put him in legal jeopardy. America’s top criminal defense attorneys have some advice: first, shut up

Photo Illustration by Lyne Lucien/The Daily Beast

Sam Nunberg, stop your mouth from moving.

That’s the legal consensus among some of the country’s top criminal defense attorneys when asked how they would counsel the onetime Trump campaign adviser, whose Triangle Shirtwaist-scale flameout on Monday led confidants—and one anchor—to worry if he was drunk-dialing cable news hosts.

“I would tell him that he’s had his fun, now put on your big-boy pants, shut up and hire a lawyer,” said Charles Clayman, founding partner and chair of Clayman & Rosenberg LLP. Clayman is a veteran New York City criminal defense attorney who has represented defendants in federal and state investigations for more than three decades—and sees in Nunberg’s refusal to comply with a subpoena from Special Counsel Robert Mueller a recipe for legal disaster.

“Hell hath no fury like a prosecutor scorned,” Clayman continued.

Nunberg ignited a cable news conflagration when he told the Washington Post that he would not cooperate with a request by Mueller to appear before the federal grand jury investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. By phone and in person, Nunberg told reporters that former Trump campaign advisor Carter Page was “a moron” and a “weird guy” who was “colluding with the Russians” during the campaign, that President Donald Trump “may have very well done something during the election with the Russians,” and called White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders a “fat slob.”

As the appearances wore on, friends of Nunberg told The Daily Beast that they worried he was “drinking again”—a possibility made explicit by CNN host Erin Burnett.

“We talked earlier about what people in the White House were saying about you, whether you were drinking, or on drugs, or whatever had happened today,” Burnett said, as Nunberg took a sip from a coffee cup. “Talking to you, I have smelled alcohol on your breath.”

Nunberg denied that he had been drinking, and, as he had done for much of the day, defiantly shrugged off worries that his refusal to appear before the grand jury and submit requested documents might lead to his arrest for contempt of court.

“I’m not going to jail, come on,” Nunberg told MSNBC’s Ari Melber, as Maya Wiley, a legal analyst, shook her head. “Do you think I’m going to jail?”

Nina Ginsberg, first vice president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) who has practiced criminal law for more than 35 years, told The Daily Beast that Nunberg needs to get ready for exactly that.

“Pack your toothbrush,” said Ginsberg. “Prepare for jail.”

Nunberg’s dismissive, and at times petulant, attitude towards Mueller’s subpoena—he told the Washington Post that he intended to tear up the subpoena on live television—has little bearing in a courtroom setting, according to celebrity lawyer Mark Geragos.

“A Grand Jury Subpoena is a lawful document,” Geragos, who has represented Michael Jackson, Winona Ryder and Scott Peterson, told The Daily Beast. “Tearing it up has no legal meaning. What does have legal import is if you don’t show up. Failure to appear may result in his arrest and incarceration.”

Nunberg did not return requests for comment from The Daily Beast regarding his own attorney’s views on his refusal to appear before the grand jury. If the court were to hold Nunberg in civil contempt, he would likely be held in jail until he either complied with Mueller’s subpoena or until the grand jury’s term ended. The standard empanelment for a federal grand jury is a term of 18 months.

“Rip up anything else instead,” recommended Martín Sabelli, secretary of the NACDL and a former federal public defender. Nunberg needs to “explain publicly that his sense of irony has been debilitated by a very bad cold.”

But the former Trump campaign aide—who mused on Burnett’s show that his lawyer might have fired him—continued his media meltdown tour apace.

“They’re not going to send me to jail,” Nunberg told Melber. “Mr. Mueller, if he wants to send me to jail, he can send me to jail, and then I’ll laugh about it and I’ll make a bigger spectacle than I am on your show right now.”

Hours later, he told the Associated Press that he’ll likely “end up cooperating with them” after all, but hopes that Mueller narrows the scope of the subpoena.

If Nunberg ends up taking that course, Sabelli said, he has a narrow path to explain the past 12 hours of public defiance: “Explain publicly that he has two copies of the subpoena and feels very strongly that he should rip up and recycle one of the two copies for the sake of the environment but that he has framed, and will honor, the original.”

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