Former Trump campaign official Sam Nunberg thought it was a good idea to a) ignore an apparent subpoena from special counsel Robert Mueller and b) go on CNN and talk all about it.
The legal soundness of that decision is, um, questionable. But from a news perspective it was absolute gold. In that vein, I scoured the transcript of Nunberg's conversation with CNN's Gloria Borger for the best -- and, by that, I mean most absolutely bonkers -- nuggets. The shiniest ones are below.
1. "Do you think I would ever talk to that moron?"
And, we're off! This is Nunberg talking about Mueller. The former FBI director. The special counsel looking into Russia's attempted meddling into the 2016 election. The guy who has already secured three guilty pleas -- with cooperation! -- from former Trump campaign officials. But sure, calling him a "moron" makes sense.
2. "I'll send you the full subpoena."
I'm no lawyer -- sorry Mom! -- but this doesn't feel like the smartest move by Nunberg. Not only is he rejecting Mueller's subpoena but he's also offering to send it, in full, to a reporter?
3. "I've been warned not to go after [Mueller]. I've been warned that you're wrong, that he'll take you down."
4. " I suspect that they suspect something about [Trump]."
SIREN. A former campaign adviser to Trump says he believes Mueller thinks he has "something" on Trump in regard to the Russia investigation. And that's actually only the second worst quote on the subject Nunberg gave Monday afternoon! He told MSNBC's Katy Tur: "I think he may have done something during the election. But I don't know that for sure."
5. "[Trump] may very well have not done anything."
Well, I'm convinced! What a Trump advocate, this Nunberg!
6. "Irregardless of whether or not he had money coming to him during the election, OK, during the general, he won that election and he doesn't get credit for it."
Irregardless of your husband being shot, how was the play, Mrs. Lincoln?
I am exaggerating, but not entirely. I mean, the whole question Mueller is investigating is how Russia sought to influence the 2016 election in Trump's favor and whether anyone in his campaign colluded with them to so it. It's not about whether Trump won or not.
7. "They think that Roger [Stone] colluded with Julian Assange. I can tell you Roger did not collude with Julian Assange."
"No collusion." -- Donald Trump
8. "I was fired, correct?"
Well, this is going swimmingly so far!
9. " I came up with the wall, I came up with the Muslim ban, I came up with everything to attack Jeb Bush, all that stuff."
"I invented the piano key necktie. I INVENTED IT." -- Jacobin Mugatu
10. "Now, Roger is more loyal to trump than me. I don't care."
[narrator's voice] He cares. A lot.
11. "I just came around having to spend 80 hours over the weekend, I started this, Gloria, on Saturday."
The weekend lasted 72 hours.
12. "Screw that! Why do I have to go? Why? For what?"
Me, every me my wife tells me I haven't had a physical in 15 years and need to go to the doctor.
13. "I'm not a Donald Trump fan, as I told you before, okay? He treated me like crap."
REMINDER: This is a guy who is ostensibly on Trump's side in all this.
14. "They ask me to go to the grand jury after I sat there for close to five and a half hours, Gloria, I'm not going back in."
I think this is my favorite part of Nunberg's defense for refusing the Mueller subpoena: It takes too long. What Nunberg is saying, essentially, is: This whole grand jury thing is, like, a total time suck. I'm not doing it.
15. "I was told that if you had asked [Trump], he would lie and tell you that Putin was there."
This is Nunberg describing what he knew about the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Russia. It's going to get lost amid some of his more bananas quotes, but, holy cow, this is a good one.
16. "I was told that that idiot had offered to send women up to Trump's room but Trump didn't want it. He's too smart for that."
First of all: Amazing!
Second: What Nunberg is referring to is the offer by an associate of Russian pop star Emin Alagarov to send prostitutes up to Trump's room during the Miss Universe pageant. Former Trump body man Keith Schiller testified about this episode last year.
17. "Trump is too smart to have women come up to his room."
This is fine.
18. "The idea that we were the Manchurian candidate."
Sam Nunberg is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I've ever known in my life.
19. "Trump may have very well done something during the election with the Russians."
I mean. I mean. I MEAN.
To summarize Nunberg so far in this interview:
- Trump is the worst
- He won fair and square
- There was no collusion
- Trump may have done something with the Russians during the election
20. "Am I the first person you ever heard to flat-out say I'm not going in?"
If we're being honest: Yes.
21. "You had Mueller indict Russians for what? He indicted Russians for what?"
Oooh ooh. Call on me! I know this one. "For executing a widespread and complex attempt to interfere in the 2016 presidential election to benefit Donald Trump's candidacy and hurt Hillary Clinton's."
What do I win?
22. "Let me take this for two seconds, OK?"
This is the BEST. Nunberg, on cable TV to announce he is ignoring a federal subpoena, tries to take a call on the other line. Epic.
23. "He thinks Trump is the Manchurian candidate, and I will tell you I disagree with that."
"BREAKING: Former Trump aide says President is not the 'Manchurian candidate'"