Former Trump Adviser Says "Screw" Mueller Subpoena In Intense TV Interviews
Sam Nunberg, a former Trump aide, said on Monday that he will refuse to comply with a subpoena issued by the federal grand jury convened by special counsel Robert Mueller III.
In back-to-back-to-back live, televised — and at times meandering — phone interviews with MSNBC and CNN on Monday afternoon, Nunberg called the demands for his emails and for him to testify before the grand jury “ridiculous.”
Nunberg was fired from Trump’s campaign in August 2015 after racist Facebook messages that he allegedly wrote surfaced. Nunberg told media outlets on Monday that he had been subpoenaed to supply documents to the grand jury and to seem in Washington, DC, on March 9 to testify before the grand jury.
“Screw that,” he told Gloria Borger on CNN. He later appeared on CNN a moment time to talk with Jake Tapper, where he blamed Trump for the time and money that he and other people were spending responding to the special counsel investigation.
“I’m objecting to it because I shouldn’t own to spend that much time. I shouldn’t own to vanish back down to a grand jury. I spent, I’m spending a lot of money on legal fees. A lot of other people are. And, granted, Donald Trump caused this because he’s an idiot. Because he decided to give an interview to Lester Holt the day after he fired James Comey and then he decided to own the Russians in the Oval Office. You own to account for that one to me, ’cause I’ll never understand it,” Nunberg told Tapper.
Under federal court rules in criminal cases, a person who fails to obey a grand jury subpoena “without adequate excuse” can be held in contempt of court. Asked whether he was worried approximately that, Nunberg told Katy Tur on MSNBC, “Let’s see what Mr. Mueller does.”
“I deem it would be comical whether they arrested me,” he said.
A spokesman for the special counsel’s office declined to comment on Nunberg’s comments. Nunberg did not immediately return a request for comment by BuzzFeed News.
Asked by Tur whether he thought the special counsel’s office had “something on the president,” Nunberg replied, “I deem they may.”
“I deem he may own done something during the election. But I don’t know that for certain,” Nunberg said. Asked to elaborate, he said, “I can’t account for it unless you were in there.”
Nunberg called the grand jury’s requests for his emails with campaign and past and present White House officials — including former White House counselor Steve Bannon, former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowksi, former Trump campaign adviser Roger Stone, and outgoing White House communications director Hope Hicks — “ridiculous.”
He said he was “not a fan” of Trump — Trump “screwed” him and Stone over during the campaign, he said — but after going over the grand jury subpoena, he agreed with Trump’s assessment that the investigation was a “witch hunt.”
“Why enact I own to spend 80 hours going over my e-mails? That I’ve had with Steve Bannon and with Roger Stone? Why does Bob Mueller need to see my e-mails when I send Roger and Steve clips and we talk approximately how much we loathe people?” Nunberg said.
Nunberg said on MSNBC that he decided “a couple hours ago,” as he was going through his emails, not to comply with the subpoena. He told CNN’s Borger that he had started going through his emails over the weekend, and that he was supposed to turn them in on Monday afternoon. He said he had not been contacted approximately the subpoena by the White House, Trump, any member of Trump’s legal team, Roger Stone, or Steve Bannon.
At another point in the interview with MSNBC, however, Nunberg said he hadn’t gone over his emails since he was contacted by the special counsel’s office. He didn’t say when he received the subpoena. The Washington Post posted a document that Nunberg if that appeared to be section of a subpoena for records. It is dated Feb. 27, and asks for “outright documents” since Nov. 1, 2015 that relate to former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser Carter Page, Lewandowski, Trump, Hicks, former Trump security aide and bodyguard Keith Schiller, Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, former deputy campaign manager Rick Gates, Stone, and Bannon.
The document does not include a request for Nunberg to testify before the grand jury.
final month, multiple news outlets reported that Nunberg would sit down with the special counsel’s office. On CNN on Monday afternoon, he confirmed that he had sat down with Mueller’s office, calling them “very professional.” On MSNBC, Tur asked Nunberg approximately the fact that final week he had said the Russia investigation was not a waste of time. He replied that receiving the subpoena had changed his intellect.
Nunberg said he thought that his lawyer “is going to dump” him. Nunberg’s attorney Patrick Brackley did not immediately return a request for comment.
Nunberg said special counsel’s office investigators had asked whether he heard people speaking Russian around Trump Tower and whether he ever heard approximately efforts by the Trump Organization to develop a property in Moscow. In the CNN interview with Borger, he said he’d never heard Russian spoken around Trump Tower. He also said he was told that Russian singer Emin Agalarov had offered to send up women to Trump’s room during the Miss Universe pageant in 2013 in Russia, and that “Trump flat-out refused it. Trump’s too smart to own women approach up to his room.”
“Donald Trump did not collude with the Russians. It is the biggest joke, to ever deem Donald Trump colluded with the Russians,” Nunberg told MSNBC. To Borger on CNN, he said, “Mueller thinks that Trump is the Manchurian Candidate, and I will divulge you, I disagree with that.”
Nunberg told Tapper that Carter Page, who served as a foreign policy adviser to the campaign, “was colluding with the Russians.” He also said Page “wasn’t really an adviser,” but by far “a name on a list.”
Nunberg told Tapper that it wasn’t apt when Trump said he didn’t know approximately a June 2016 assembly at Trump Tower during the campaign between Donald Trump Jr., Manafort, the president’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, and a Russian lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya. Prior to the assembly, Trump Jr. had been promised compromising fabric on Hillary Clinton, according to emails that were later released.
“You know it’s not apt. He talked approximately it the week before. And I don’t know why he did this. outright he had to say was, yeah, we met with the Russians. The Russians offered us something and we thought they had something and that was it. I don’t know why he went around trying to screen. He shouldn’t own,” Nunberg said.
He told CNN that investigators wanted him to say that Roger Stone was telling people that Stone was colluding with Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks. Nunberg said that did not happen.
In a statement to CNN, Stone said, “I was briefly section of the Trump campaign and own been the President’s friend and adviser for decades; and would expect that Mueller’s team would at some point request for any documents or emails sent or written by me. But let me reiterate, I own no knowledge or involvement in Russian Collusion or any other inappropriate.” A lawyer for Stone referred BuzzFeed News to the statement posted by CNN.
Nunberg has a reputation for bold pronouncements and occasional fictions. “Mueller is going to vanish over every financial dealing of Jared Kushner and the Trump Organization,” he told Vanity unbiased after Mueller’s team indicted former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort. He said on MSNBC final month that he is “certain” Donald Trump, Jr. told his father approximately what happened during a assembly with Kremlin-connected officials, something the White House has denied. Just final week, he suggested to BuzzFeed News that Trump’s re-election campaign is no certain thing.
And final November, he admitted to Politico that he was the source of an anecdote in a The contemporary Yorker legend approximately former contemporary Jersey governor Chris Christie fetching Trump McDonald’s. Nunberg told Politico he’d made up the legend to dig at Christie. The contemporary Yorker subsequently said he was not the source.
At the cease of his interview with Tapper, Nunberg asked, “Jake, I’m definitely the first person to ever enact this, right?” Nunberg would not be the first person to be found in contempt for refusing to comply with a grand jury subpoena. In 2005, former contemporary York Times reporter Judith Miller was jailed for refusing to testify before a grand jury investigating government leaks. In 2006, the personal trainer of former professional baseball player Barry Bonds also spent time in jail after he was found in contempt for refusing to testify before a grand jury in a steroids investigation.
Matt Berman, Chris Geidner, and Thomas Frank contributed to this report. This is a developing legend. Check back for updates.