Former Trump campaign aide Sam Nunberg plans to defy a subpoena he says he received from special counsel Bob Mueller, and if that means he’ll get tossed in jail, so be it. But he is ready to talk — to the media.
Nunberg, who was fired from the Trump campaign in August 2015 over racist Facebook posts, said he’d already sat down for at least one interview with Mueller’s team as part of their investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia. But Nunberg says he’s not going to continue cooperating with Mueller, in part because he believes the investigation will target his “mentor,” Roger Stone. Nunberg said Stone, a longtime Trump confidant who once ran a lobbying firm with former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, is innocent. (Manafort is set to go to trial after pleading not guilty to a 32-count federal indictment brought by Mueller in February.)
“I’m not cooperating. Arrest me,” Nunberg told CNN’s Jake Tapper over the phone Monday, essentially daring Mueller to file a motion to have Nunberg charged with contempt of court.
Nunberg dropped a series of bombshells over the course of three live interviews on MSNBC and CNN, including an assertion that President Donald Trump may be guilty of “something.”
“I think he may have done something during the election,” Nunberg told MSNBC’s Katy Tur. “I don’t know that for sure.”
In a later interview with MSNBC's Ari Gellar, Nunberg said “Trump did something bad,” and said one line of questioning focused on Trump’s business dealings.
Trump wasn’t the only person who Nunberg, who did not immediately respond to a VICE News request for comment, talked trash about on Monday. the most outrageous moments from Nunberg’s media blitz:
The subpoena is “ridiculous”
Nunberg says he’s refusing to comply with the subpoena and appear before a grand jury on Friday, because its requests are too broad and “absolutely ridiculous.”
“I think it would be funny if they arrested me,” he added.
The subpoena calls for Nunberg to turn over documents that date back to Nov. 1, 2015, and include communications with Trump, Stone, ex-White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon, and former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser Carter Page, among several others, according to the New York Times.
“The president’s right. It’s a witch hunt,” Nunberg told MSNBC’s Katy Tur. “Why do I have to spend 80 hours going over my emails that I had with Steve Bannon and Roger Stone? Why does Bob Mueller need to see my emails when I send Roger and Steve clips and we talk about how much we hate people?”
The emails were due at 3 p.m., he said, a deadline he missed while on television. Nunberg is also scheduled to testify before a grand jury on Friday — a meeting he initially said he intended to skip, before appearing to change his mind while on live television with MSNBC’s Ari Gellar.
Nunberg said he wasn’t a subject or a target of the investigation and that Mueller also offered him immunity.
“Idiot” Donald Trump caused the Russia investigation
Nunberg may have once wanted to help Trump win the presidency, but he told Gellar he’s no longer friendly with Trump, calling him the “most disloyal person you’re ever going to meet.” Nunberg also told Tapper of the president, “He treated me like crap.”
Nunberg went on to bemoan his rising legal fees, pinning the blame for the investigation squarely on Trump.
“Granted Donald Trump caused this, because he’s an idiot,” he said. “Cause he decided to give an interview to Lester Holt the day after he fired James Comey, and then he decided to have the Russians in the Oval Office.”
At the same time, Nunberg maintained that Trump himself had not colluded with Russians to swing the 2016 election, despite his earlier assertion that the Mueller investigation had “something” on Trump.
“It is the biggest joke to ever think Donald Trump colluded with the Russians,” Nunberg told Tur.
Carter Page is a “scumbag”
Carter Page has now found himself at the center of several investigations in Russian involvement in the 2016 election, but according to Nunberg, he was only a peripheral player in the campaign itself.
“Do you think I would communicate with Carter Page? He’s a scumbag,” Nunberg told Tapper. He aded, “And he was colluding with the Russians.”
Nunberg claimed that Page wasn’t really an adviser, but was counted as part of the Trump campaign because officials “were happy to get anybody they could get.”
“I think that Carter Page is a weird dude,” Nunberg concluded. “I don’t think he should have been involved in that campaign.”
Mueller wants Nunberg to testify about Wikileaks
Nunberg said he believes Mueller is looking at Stone’s communications with Julian Assange.
"They want me to testify against Roger," Nunberg told CNN. "They want me to say that Roger was going around telling people he was colluding with Julian Assange."
In a vague statement to CNN after Nunberg’s interview, Stone said, "I was briefly part of the Trump campaign and has [sic] been the President's friend and adviser for decades; and would expect that Mueller's team would at some point ask for any documents or emails sent or written by me. But let me reiterate, I have no knowledge or involvement in Russian Collusion [sic] or any other inappropriate act.”
Stone and WikiLeaks communicated directly through private Twitter messages in October, the Atlantic reported last week. Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr., also communicated with Assange during the campaign.
There are other targets
Though Nunberg focused his train of thought largely on Trump, Stone, Bannon and Page, he did name other names. Nunberg said Mueller’s team also requested emails from the recently resigned White House communications director Hope Hicks, Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen, and one-time campaign manager Corey Lewandowski.
“I was thinking about this today, Katy, I was preparing it. Should I spend 50 hours going over all my emails with Roger and with Steve Bannon,” he told MSNBC’s Tur. “And then they wanted emails that I had with Hope Hicks, with Corey Lewandowski, are you — give me a break. It’s ridiculous.”
Nunberg also told Tur the questions focused on links between Trump and Russia.
“You know what they asked — they asked things like, ‘Did you hear people speaking Russian in the Trump office?’ Katy, I did not hear people speaking Russian in the Trump office. They asked things like, ‘Did you hear about Trump Tower Moscow?’ No, I never heard about Trump Tower Moscow,” he said.
Sarah Huckabee Sanders is a “big fat slob” but that's not why she's a joke
As Nunberg continued to give interviews, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders denied Nunberg’s allegations about Trump during a White House briefing.
"I definitely think he doesn't know that for sure because he's incorrect," Sanders said. "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 that he clearly has."
In a subsequent interview with New York One, Nunberg said “it’s fine” if Sanders wants to attack him, because, “Everyone knows she’s a joke.”
“Okay fine, yeah, she’s unattractive, she’s a fat slob, but that’s irrelevant,” Nunberg said. “The person she works for has a 30 percent approval rating.”
Nunberg didn't stop there, later telling Melber, “And I’m warning her, to shut her mouth.”
Is Nunberg on something?
Nunberg’s friends believe he may have been drunk throughout his Monday media blitz, the Daily Beast reported. So CNN’s Erin Burnett asked Nunberg about the rumors flat-out.
“You’re sitting very close to me,” Burnett told Nunberg. “We talked earlier about what people in the White House are saying about you, whether you’re drinking or on drugs or whatever had happened today. Talking to you, I have smelled alcohol on your breath.”
“Well, I haven’t had a drink,” Nunberg replied.
Burnett later pressed Nunberg, “Anything else?”
“No,” Nunberg answered.
“No,” he said. “Besides my meds.”
“Antidepressants. Is that okay?” Nunberg said. “They can say whatever they want. Once again, they’re pathetic.”