Former Trump campaign aide burns everything down in epic series of cable news interviews

"All he had to say was, 'yeah, we met with the Russians.'"

CREDIT: Screenshot/MSNBC
CREDIT: Screenshot/MSNBC

On Monday afternoon, former Trump campaign aide Sam Nunberg did three different television interviews — one with MSNBC, and then two with CNN — in which he explained why he doesn’t plan to cooperate with a grand jury subpoena ordering him to testify on Friday before a federal grand jury investigating Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. Each of them was an unmitigated disaster.

Nunberg is not necessarily the most reliable narrator. He was fired from the campaign for racist Facebook posts and at times has been at odds with Trump, who sued Nunberg for $10 million, alleging he violated a confidentiality agreement.

Nevertheless, Nunberg made a number of explosive claims during the interviews. Here are the highlights.

Nunberg says he thinks Mueller has the goods on Trump

Nunberg said that he came away from an interview with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team persuaded that they may “have something” on Trump.


“I think they may… I think that he may have done something during the election,” Nunberg told MSNBC. “But I don’t know that for sure.”

Nunberg offered a similar comment to CNN.

“I suspect that they suspect something about him… The way they asked about his business dealings… it just made me suspect that they suspect something about him,” he said.

Nunberg says Trump knew about the Trump Tower meeting with the Russians

Nunberg told CNN’s Jake Tapper that he believes Trump knew about a June 2016 meeting in Trump Tower between top campaign officials and a Kremlin-connected lawyer who promised to provide the campaign with dirt about Hillary Clinton.


“All 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,'” Nunberg said. “I don’t know why he went around trying to hide it.”

Last summer, Trump helped craft a misleading statement about the meeting. During an interview with the New York Times, Trump denied having any knowledge about it.

“No, I didn’t know anything about the meeting,” Trump said.

Nunberg says Trump foreign policy adviser Carter Page was colluding with Russia

During his second interview with CNN, Nunberg told Jake Tapper that foreign Trump foreign policy adviser Carter Page “was colluding with Russia,” but he downplayed the significance of it.


“He was not really an adviser, Jake, come on — do you really think he was an adviser? He was a name on a  list,” Nunberg said.

During the campaign, Trump mentioned Page by name as one of his foreign policy advisers. Trump-supporting Republicans in Congress have recently accused the FBI of abusing its authority in obtaining a FISA warrant to surveil Page.

Nunberg thinks it’d be funny if he got arrested

Nunberg repeatedly expressed amusement at the idea that he’ll be arrested for refusing to comply with the grand jury’s subpoena.

“I think it would be funny if they arrested me,” he told MSNBC’s Katy Tur.

Nunberg later asked Tapper for legal advice.

“Do you think should I cooperate? Should I spend 80 hours going over my e-mails, Jake?” he asked.

“If it were me, I would,” Tapper replied. “Just my opinion. Because it sounds like pain, but he is the special counsel and he does have the long arm of the law.”

Nunberg says he’s too busy to go through his emails

Nunberg framed his refusal to comply with the subpoena around his frustration that Mueller’s team is asking for a complete record of his emails with other Trump campaign aides, including Roger Stone and Steve Bannon, going back to November 2015.

“The subpoena is absolutely ridiculous,” Nunberg told CNN’s Gloria Berger. “Why should I hand them over every email I’ve had with Steve Bannon since November of 2015? Give me a break.”

During his interview with Tapper, Nunberg said: “I think Mueller has enough on Trump. He doesn’t need me to start giving him information on Stone and Bannon. Jake, I communicated with Roger Stone and Steve Bannon 15 times a day. So I have to spend 80 hours going over e-mails?”

Nunberg says Mueller is honing in on Trump’s 2013 trip to Moscow

Nunberg said that his interview with Mueller left him with the impression that investigators are honing in on Trump’s 2013 trip to Moscow for the Miss Universe pageant.

“They probably want to know about Miss Universe 2013, if I had to guess,” Nunberg told CNN, in response to a question about why he thinks Mueller’s team wants him to testify before a grand jury.

Regarding the Steele dossier’s claim that Trump took part in lewd sexual escapades with Russian prostitutes during that trip, Nunberg said Trump’s personal bodyguard told him that one of Trump’s Russian contacts, Emin Agalarov “offered to send women up to Trump’s room [in Moscow] but Trump didn’t want it. He’s too smart for that, he didn’t want it.”

Mueller thinks Trump ‘is the Manchurian Candidate’

Nunberg told CNN that his impression is that Mueller “thinks that Trump is the Manchurian Candidate,” but he said he doesn’t agree with that assessment.

“Mueller thinks that trump is the Manchurian Candidate, and I will tell you I disagree with that,” Nunberg said during his first CNN interview.

During a White House news briefing that occurred after Nunberg’s MSNBC interview, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders dismissed Nunberg’s comments.

“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.”