Nets Go Gaga for Wild Nunberg Speculation About Trump Collusion

Monday was marked by the rolling train wreck that was former Trump campaign aide Sam Nunberg’s seemingly non-stop appearances on cable news shows taunting Special Counsel Robert Mueller for subpoenaing him. During his wild interviews (which lasted from mid-afternoon into the night), Nunberg made numerous suggestions that federal investigators may have some kind of case against President Trump. And that was all the liberal network news outlets needed to run with it.

Both CBS Evening News and ABC’s World News Tonight kicked off their programs with the jaw-dropping spectacle. On CBS, anchor Jeff Glor even announced that they were pushing back another big story so they could get to Nunberg first:

Good evening. Frightening pictures you saw in our headlines of that scare in the air. We will have that story in just a few minutes. But we begin here tonight with a wild series of statements from a man under subpoena in the investigation of Russian meddling. Former Trump campaign aide Sam Nunberg said today he will not comply with the special counsel and dared Robert Mueller to have him arrested.

The former Trump campaign aide believes investigators have evidence that the Trump campaign may have colluded with the Russians, but Nunberg refuses to appear before a federal grand jury,” hyped CBS Justice reporter Paula Reid. She also played audio of Nunberg suggesting “Trump may have very well done something during the election with the Russians.”

ABC anchor David Muir wasted little time in getting to the sensationalist nature of the report:

 

 

Sam Nunberg today on live TV saying he will burn the grand jury subpoena he received from Mueller, rather than turn over the documents he has demanded, saying, “let him arrest me.” But Nunberg then went on to make those bold suggestions about his former boss. What he says Donald Trump allegedly knew.

The network’s Chief Justice Correspondent Pierre Thomas also hyped Nunberg’s “stunning suggestion” about Trump and collusion. “Nunberg suggesting on yet another cable show that he believes the President knew about the Trump Tower meeting with the Russians,” the ABC reporter added before playing a clip of his phone interview on CNN’s The Lead with Jake Tapper.

Meanwhile, on NBC Nightly News, anchor Lester Holt described the off the wall interviews and phone calls as “a fascinating twist in the Russia investigation.” And NBC White House Correspondent Kristen Welker touted Nunberg’s antics: “Tonight, defiant and digging in. Sam Nunberg, a former Trump campaign aide turned Trump antagonist dropping this bombshell, becoming the first former adviser to publically suggest candidate Trump may have done something wrong.

According to a piece published by the left-leaning Daily Beast before the networks went live, close friends of Nunberg were worried for him and were afraid he had been “drinking again.” After the networks had wrapped up in the Eastern and Central time zones, CNN’s Erin Burnett confronted him while he was on her show and said she could smell alcohol on his breath.

Nunberg had a rough time when he was on the Trump campaign, including claims that Corey Lewandowski had it out for him prior to being fired for racist Facebook posts. Clearly, Nunberg was bitter and held a ton of resentment towards the President. But it was a wild show that the nets couldn’t ignore, especially since it involved sliming Trump.

The relevant portions of the transcripts are below:

 

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CBS Evening News
March 5, 2018
6:31:18 PM Eastern [2 minutes 7 seconds]

JEFF GLOR: Good evening. Frightening pictures you saw in our headlines of that scare in the air. We will have that story in just a few minutes. But we begin here tonight with a wild series of statements from a man under subpoena in the investigation of Russian meddling. Former Trump campaign aide Sam Nunberg said today he will not comply with the special counsel and dared Robert Mueller to have him arrested. Here's Justice Reporter Paula Reid.

[Cuts to video]

SAM NUNBERG: Mueller thinks that Trump is the Manchurian candidate.

PAULA REID: The former Trump campaign aide believes investigators have evidence that the Trump campaign may have colluded with the Russians, but Nunberg refuses to appear before a federal grand jury. He called several media outlets this afternoon to explain why he will defy a subpoena from special counsel Robert Mueller.

(…)

REID: Nunberg was part of the Trump campaign before it was officially launched in June 2015. He was fired for offensive social media posts just two months later. He says he's not trying to protect the President.

NUNBERG: I'm not a fan of Donald Trump, and you well know.

REID: Nunberg says he's spent five and a half hours being interviewed by federal investigators, and based on their questions, he believes the special counsel may have evidence against President Trump.

NUNBERG: Trump may have very well done something during the election with the Russians. If he did that, you know what, it's inexcusable. If he did that.

REID: White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders pushed back.

SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS: I definitely think he doesn't know that for sure, because he's incorrect, as we've said many times before. There was no collusion with the Trump campaign.

[Cuts back to live]

GLOR: Paula, what's next for Sam Nunberg?

REID: Well, Mueller wouldn't try to put Nunberg before a grand jury unless will he thought that he had some valuable evidence to present. So if Nunberg does not cooperate, he could be held in contempt and be looking at possible jail time. Jeff?

GLOR: Paula Reid in our D.C. bureau. Paula, thank you.

 

ABC
World News Tonight
March 5, 2018
6:31:41 PM Eastern [4 minutes 16 seconds]

DAVID MUIR: Good evening. And it's great to have you with us to start another week. And we begin tonight with defiance from a former Trump campaign aide, refusing to cooperate with Robert Mueller, refusing to testify before the grand jury. Sam Nunberg today on live TV saying he will burn the grand jury subpoena he received from Mueller, rather than turn over the documents he has demanded, saying, “let him arrest me.” But Nunberg then went on to make those bold suggestions about his former boss. What he says Donald Trump allegedly knew. We begin with ABC's Chief Justice Correspondent Pierre Thomas tonight.

[Cuts to video]

PIERRE THOMAS: Tonight, a former Trump campaign adviser, Sam Nunberg, is defying the special counsel, going on cable television today to say he will not comply with a subpoena to appear before a grand jury in Robert Mueller's investigation.

(…)

THOMAS: But Sam Nunberg went on to make a stunning suggestion about Robert Mueller and his team. When asked if he thinks they found something on his former boss, Donald Trump –

[Clip from MSNBC of Nunberg suggesting Muller has evidence against Trump]

(…)

THOMAS: Nunberg suggesting on yet another cable show that he believes the President knew about the Trump Tower meeting with the Russians, a meeting with a foreign adversary to get dirt on an American candidate, Hillary Clinton, something the White House has denied.

(…)

THOMAS: Nunberg said he's already been interviewed for five and a half hours by the special counsel, and he is questioning why he has to turn over more information.

(…)

THOMAS: Nunberg, who was fired from the Trump campaign team, even asked if he ever heard people speaking Russian in the Trump Tower.

(…)

THOMAS: Late today, the White House was pressed about Nurnberg’s bold suggestion that the special counsel may, quote, “have something on the president.”

(…)

[Cuts back to live]

MUIR: Bold claims about the President tonight. Pierre Thomas with us now live. And just now, Nunberg going on cable TV yet again to say he was also offered immunity by the special counsel, apparently turning it down and now refusing to cooperate, Pierre?

THOMAS: That's right, David. He just talked about being offered immunity, but he's still saying he won testify. That means he could be held in contempt of court and, David, could face jail time.

MUIR: Pierre Thomas leading us off on a Monday night.

 

NBC Nightly News
March 5, 2018
7:06:50 PM Eastern [2 minutes 19 seconds]

LESTER HOLT: There is a fascinating twist in the Russia investigation tonight, and it comes from a man who worked on President Trump's campaign. He is refusing to comply with a subpoena from Special Counsel Robert Mueller and speaking out about the investigation. Let's get more from White House Correspondent Kristen Welker.

[Cuts to video]

KRISTEN WELKER: Tonight, defiant and digging in. Sam Nunberg, a former Trump campaign aide turned Trump antagonist dropping this bombshell, becoming the first former adviser to publically suggest candidate Trump may have done something wrong. Nunberg spoke with Katy Tur live on MSNBC.

(…)

WELKER: But in the same interview, at times siding with the President.

(…)

WELKER: The White House firing back noting Nunberg only served on the campaign in the early days.

(…)

WELKER: Nunberg was fired from the campaign in 2015 after racist social media posts. The President later sued him for violating a confidential agreement. Despite that, he says he won't comply with a subpoena by Special Counsel Robert Mueller to appear before a grand jury.

(…)

WELKER: It’s the latest development in the intensifying Russia probe. Nunberg is among those who were subpoenaed for e-mails, texts, and other documents related to the campaign.

(…)

[Cuts back to live]

WELKER: Witnesses can refuse to answer questions by pleading the Fifth Amendment, but if for some other reason simply refuse to answers questions they can be thrown in jail until they cooperate or until the grand jury expires. Lester?

HOLT: Kristen Welker, at the White House. Thank you.


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