NEW YORK – In a bizarre media blitz conducted throughout Monday, a Jewish former aide to US President Donald Trump said he will refuse to cooperate with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
Appearing on major broadcast news outlets CNN and MSNBC, Sam Nunberg said he plans to ignore a subpoena issued by Mueller to appear before a federal grand jury in the matter, calling the request “absolutely ridiculous.”
Nunberg appears to take issue with the fact that investigators want the 36-year-old to turn over “records of any kind” between himself and nine others, including senior Trump campaign officials Steve Bannon and Paul Manafort.
“First of all, they sent me a subpoena where they ask: After November 1 of 2015 did I communicate with Carter Page [and] Corey Lewandowski?” the latter serving as the US President’s campaign manager until his firing in June 2016.
“I mean I despise Corey, why would I communicate with him?” Nunberg asked while speaking via telephone with CNN’s Jake Tapper.
Page, who served as a former Trump foreign policy adviser during the race for the White House, denies any wrongdoing in the matter.
Manafort, who served as Trump’s campaign chairman, has been slapped with nearly three dozen indictments stemming from the Mueller investigation, which range from fraud to money laundering charges.
The counsel wants that “I should give them every email from November 1 of 2015 from perpetuity,” Nunberg continued incredulously. “Why do I have to give that to the government?”
Nunberg, if he refuses to comply with the order, could face up to 18 months in federal prison, according to CNN.
At the end of the interview with Tapper, Nunberg appeared to revel in his defiant posture towards the special prosecutor, boasting: “I’m definitely the first person to do this – that I’m not cooperating.”
“Let him arrest me,” Nunberg later told The Washington Post
in an interview. “Mr. Mueller should understand I am not going in on Friday.”
He added: “The Russians and Trump did not collude. Putin is too smart to collude with Donald Trump.”
Nunberg also suggested in an early afternoon interview with MSNBC that the federal authorities may have “something” on Trump, insinuating that evidence exists of illegal conduct by the president during the election.
Later Monday evening, Nunberg appeared in studio with CNN host Erin Burnett.
During their 15-minute interview, Nunberg reiterated much of the same claims he made during his earlier rounds on the news show circuit.
Toward the end of the interview, however, Burnett asked the former Trump campaign aide if he had been drinking alcohol before arriving at the set.
“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. “Talking to you, I have smelled alcohol on your breath.”
Nunberg denied the comment, saying that he only took antidepressants.
“They can say whatever they want, I don’t really care.”
In response, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters, “There was no collusion with the Trump campaign.”
Nunberg’s lawyer, Patrick Brackley, did not immediately respond to an email from The Jerusalem Post
Nunberg was a consultant to the Trump campaign before he was dismissed for his racist and incendiary posts, which included calling the daughter of the Rev. Al Sharpton a “n*****!” The posts had been made in 2007, before he went to work for Trump.
In a 2017 interview with Newsmax, Nunberg said his grandfather Simon survived Auschwitz but that the rest of Simon’s family, including his parents, were murdered. Asked where he might move if he had to live in another country, Nunberg replied, “Easy question – the Jewish State of Israel.”
JTA contributed to this report.
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