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Sam Nunberg insists Mueller 'has something' on Donald Trump

By Sheetal Sukhija, St Petersburg News
06 Mar 2018, 14:52 GMT+10

WASHINGTON, U.S. - In what is shaping up to be a rather dramatic investigation, especially because of the radio silence from the special counsel Robert Mueller’s team and the extravagant revelations being featured almost daily in the country’s media - a huge development unfolded on Monday.

A former Trump aide, both defied Mueller and made a shocking revelation - claiming that the special counsel “has enough” evidence against President Donald Trump.

Sam Nunberg, who was the former presidential campaign adviser to Trump, publicly defied Mueller on Monday, announcing in a series of bizarre media interviews that he would ignore a grand jury subpoena from the special prosecutor.

Making matters worse, Nunberg issued an open challenge to the Special Counsel, daring Mueller to put him in handcuffs. 

Nunberg insisted in interviews that Trump didn't collude with the Kremlin, and yet suggested that Mueller "has something" on the president.

Nunberg’s statement comes at a time when a parade of witnesses summoned by the special counsel have dutifully agreed to testify as part of his investigation into Russian election interference.

But Nunberg publicly went rogue and suggested that his former boss faces legal jeopardy.

In an interview with CNN, Nunberg said that Mueller “has enough” on the president and doesn’t need his testimony. 

He told another reporter, “Let him arrest me.”

Later, in an interview with Politico, Nunberg reportedly offered a backhanded defense of his former boss, suggesting that if Trump had colluded with the Kremlin, his secret would be known by now.

The former Trump aide reportedly argued, “Trump can’t keep his f*****g mouth shut.”

In his statements, Nunberg suggested that he did not want to incriminate his friends, especially Stone and former Trump political strategist Steve Bannon. 

Nunberg said, “He doesn't need me giving him information on Steve Bannon and Roger Stone. Roger is my mentor. Roger is like family to me. I’m not going to do it.”

Later, complicating the situation, Nunberg said that he and Bannon agreed in a conversation last week that Trump may have “done something” that makes the president legally vulnerable. 

He said, “I don’t know what it is. I could be wrong.”

He even outed himself as the source of a Mueller subpoena whose details surfaced in media reports over the weekend. 

The subpoena demanded all communications Nunberg has had with Trump and nine other campaign aides dating back to November 2015, including former campaign chiefs Corey Lewandowski, Paul Manafort and Bannon.

Further, reports revealed that Nunberg disobeyed requests from Mueller’s investigators to avoid publicly discussing his five-plus hour interview with Mueller’s team in Washington last month.

In an interview with MSNBC, Nunberg said that he was asked whether Trump took policy positions during the campaign because of his private business dealings. 

To which, Nunberg replied, “I will tell you he never told me that.”

He further revealed that he called “ridiculous” a question about whether he had ever heard anyone speak Russian in Trump’s office.

During his interview, Nunberg also reportedly said that his interview with Mueller’s team gave him the impression the special counsel has “something” on the president.

What made matters worse for Nunberg was that his headline-grabbing stunt was capped by a suggestion made by a CNN interviewer, Erin Burnett, who said live on the air, that he suspected the former Trump aide was under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

In August 2015, Trump fired Nunberg after the disclosure of racially offensive Facebook posts he had written. 

Analysts argued that considering the period during which Nunberg was fired - he was not working for the then-Republican Presidential candidate for most of the time period Mueller is known to be studying. 

Further, Nunberg himself has no apparent close ties to Moscow, unlike many other Trump associates swept up in Mueller’s probe.

Commenting on Nunberg’s day full of stunts, former Trump campaign adviser Barry Bennett said later in the day, “These are exactly the same kind of personality traits that led him to be separated from the campaign. He’s got a history of this kind of stuff, unfortunately. I don’t think this is going to end well.”

Following the statements made by Nunberg, California Democratic Rep. Ted Lieu took to Twitter and said, “Dear Sam Nunberg: What you just said on national TV is one reason Special Counsel Mueller would like to see your communications with Steve Bannon. Get it?”

Later in the day, during her daily briefing, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders denied any collusion between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin. 

In her statement, Sanders said she wouldn’t comment on “somebody that doesn't work at the White House” and added, “We are fully cooperating with the office of the special counsel.”

Meanwhile, Nunberg speculated that the grand jury appearance he plans to skip on Friday was arranged in part so he could be asked about what he’s heard from senior Trump associates involving Trump’s attendance in 2013 at the Miss Universe pageant in Moscow.

He added that he would skip the special counsel’s grand jury summons also because there were concerns Mueller wanted him to “insinuate” that Stone had colluded with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange over stolen Democratic emails.

The emails were leaked during key moments of the 2016 campaign.

Nunberg said, “If they’re trying to build a case against Roger I’m not going to be a part of it. Roger didn’t do anything except get treated like crap by Donald Trump.”

Experts pointed out that disobeying a grand jury subpoena is considered civil contempt and can be the basis for arrest.

Reacting to Nunberg’s comments later in the day, Stone attorney Robert Buschel said, “Roger Stone has been an adviser and friend to Donald Trump for decades and we’d expect that the Mueller team would ask for all correspondence relating to Roger’s early campaign activities. But Roger Stone has done absolutely nothing inappropriate.”

He also clarified that Stone has not been contacted by Mueller’s office.

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