WASHINGTON — A former Trump campaign aide said Monday that he would defy a subpoena issued by Russia special counsel Robert Mueller, seeking prior communications involving a number of former advisers including strategist Steve Bannon and adviser Roger Stone.
In an unusually public tirade, some of it broadcast on cable television, Sam Nunberg called Mueller’s request “ridiculous.”
“I’m not going to cooperate,” Nunberg later said in an interview with USA TODAY.
Nunberg, who was fired from the campaign in 2015 after racially charged posts were discovered on his social media accounts, said he will not show up for a scheduled Friday appearance before a grand jury.
“What do you think he’ll do?” Nunberg said, as if taunting Mueller. “Mr. Mueller should have to explain why I should have to spend 80 hours looking for emails to provide to him.”
The subpoena demanded that Nunberg provide email communications related to his contacts with a range of former Trump aides dating to November 2015. Beyond Bannon and Stone, Nunberg said they asked for other communications involving former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, former White House communications director Hope Hicks and former Trump body guard Keith Schiller.
Nunberg said that he started to gather the information and then abandoned it, because “I shouldn’t have to spend my time doing this.”
In an interview on MSNBC, Nunberg offered a tantalizing suggestion that Mueller may have a case against Trump.
USA TODAY Poll: On Russia, Americans trust Mueller more than Trump
“I think he may have (Trump) may have done something during the election,” the former aide said, adding that he did not know what that might be.
Asked if he was ready to face possible contempt charges for refusing to cooperate, Nunberg told the network: “I think it would be funny if they arrested me.”
In a later interview on CNN, Nunberg said former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page may have colluded with the Russians.
Stone is a longtime Trump adviser who left the Trump campaign shortly after it started in June 2015, but he communicates often with the president and the White House staff. Bannon joined Trump’s campaign in 2016 and was a White House senior adviser until he was fired last year.
White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders, meanwhile, dismissed Nunberg’s remarks.
“He hasn’t worked at the White House, so I certainly can’t speak to him or the lack of knowledge that he clearly has,” Sanders said.
Mueller’s office declined to comment Monday.