By SOPHIA CONSTANTINO
Nearly every major news media outlet across the country stopped in their tracks Monday afternoon to gape at a live MSNBC interview with a former campaign adviser to President Trump, Sam Nunberg.
The afternoon began with a Washington Post story by Josh Dawsey reporting Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office had subpoenaed Nunberg to testify before a federal grand jury regarding Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election. Nunberg refused.
Approximately 15 minutes after the story was released, MSNBC cut short an interview to go to Nunberg in a phone interview. The interview spiraled into a 20-minute, seemingly no-holds-barred spiel from Nunberg during which he divulged what he claims Muller’s office asked of him and that he had no intention of cooperating. Most shockingly, the former Trump-aide said that he thinks Trump “may have done something during the election” and that Muller may “have something” on the president, according to CNN.
Nunberg proceeded to call into various news media outlets, including two different CNN interviewers and New York news station NY1. He then reappeared on MSNBC, this time accompanied by three lawyers, to discuss whether or not he should cooperate with Muller.
The White House is baffled by Nunberg’s outburst, calling it “nuts” and “bizarre,” according to CNN’s Kaitlin Collins. National news media certainly share the sentiment.
Though Nunberg could have perhaps been motivated by his own alleged mistreatment by Trump along with Trump’s similar treatment of Nunberg’s mentor, Roger Stone, why Nunberg would then defy subpoena remains unclear. Nunberg suggests that Trump did something questionable during the 2016 election and, if so, has no interest in testifying.
Speculations as to why Nunberg, who actively hates Trump, would not testify, point towards Nunberg’s allegiance to Stone; according to Nunberg, Stone is suspect to collusion with Julian Assage, who is believed to have ties to Russian intelligence. If there is something to cover on Stone, it seems Nunberg is covering it.
Despite being initially adamant, The Washington Post reports that Nunberg may testify after a night of considerable advice gathering through his various news media appearances. It seems Nunberg’s obstinate resolve and speculative protection of Stone will not withstand the risk of jail time he could face for defying subpoena.