Former Trump Aide Sam Nunberg comes across to me like the guy Carter Page wants to be: a friendly talkative pal who can say anything because he has the shield of a clear conscience. Except of course Carter Page is in way over his head with the Russians. Nunberg looks like he was never taken seriously enough by anybody in Trump World to be in trouble.
Nunberg cooperated with Mueller's questioning because it's likely he has nothing to hide. Sam's big complaint is that he clearly doesn't like the legal fees that accompany having to testify to Bob Mueller's Trump/Russia investigation. He mentions it more than once to Ari Melber.
But Nunberg doesn't mind letting America know that boy-howdy is Bob Mueller's team professional white-shoe lawyers. The American taxpayer is getting their money's worth.
Also, Putin is too smart to trust an idiot like Donald Trump with some collusion plan.
This is either the best acting job so far since Trump's inauguration, or Sam Nunberg is really just a bumbling guy who took the wrong job. I for one won't forgive him for working for Trump. Pay those lawyers, Sam.
ARI MELBER: Are you surprised that Hope Hicks has resigned?
SAM NUNBERG: It surprised me, but Hope, people will always say, oh, she was around Donald Trump and she had that job because she's very beautiful, no, she's very talented and she has the power, the authority, or whatever, the talent to have done that job. I don't know what happened, I have no idea. I learned about this just like you, I can't add anything to it.
MELBER: You can't add insight to it, but you can add context to what it means when a White House has Jared Kushner's security clearance is downgraded. And Hope Hicks, according to NBC reporting, just told Trump earlier in the day that she was leaving. Although we don't have all the details nailed down, do you determine, do you think something's putting pressure on the White House right now?
NUNBERG: I do. And I would agree with that, I would agree with that estimation, I would tell you, Ari, that once again as I have told you before and I have told you informally, I would assume that she was going to be there for perpetuity, as long as Donald Trump was in the White House. So Hope Hicks was a surprise to me. I don't know what's going on.
MELBER: So in a sense, she's leaving 6 1/2 years earlier than what you would expect if Trump served two terms. Let's talk about the "white lies" comment. What does that say to you about what happened yesterday?
NUNBERG: What does that say to me? She was probably talking about embellishment, she was probably talking about spinning things, which by the way have been done for Democrats and Republicans before this. It's only because it's Donald Trump it seems that it's more pervasive, let's be honest, but this is normal and she probably said that out of context. I don't know the context that she said that. Once again, I'll go back to say she's very talented. She has a lot of talent and she was very loyal to the president.
MELBER: And she also spoke to Mueller's investigators late last year.
NUNBERG: You can get in trouble for that, by the way. Thank you very much.
MELBER: How do you mean?
NUNBERG: Because I came on your show that I announced that Tuesday I was in there on Thursday and they said congratulations, Sam, you're the first person we have ever met that's come in and announced before they came in here.
MELBER: You're referring to statement about your interview.
NUNBERG: The interview. Their view was they were not happy about it. That's what I would say.
MELBER: And although I understand legally you're not going to discuss much of what happened inside.
NUNBERG: Correct, I'm not.
MELBER: I wonder what your broader assessment is at this point about the pressure on Donald Trump. Because putting you aside, there were wider reports that we're talking collusion in the questioning.
NUNBERG: Here's what I will say, first of all, when I got the call that day, it was like a Tuesday after the Michael Wolff book came out and I was very upset when I got the call. You know what I mean? And still, I have to pay legal fees for it. But I understand they're doing their job. What I would say, one is, the taxpayer is getting their money's worth. They were highly professional.
MELBER: You're talking about Mueller's investigators?
NUNBERG: Mueller's investigators, they didn't call me in just to check a box. Everything they asked me was backed up. I don't want to get into where they are at in their investigation. But it wasn't a waste of their time or my time. I was happy to cooperate with them.
MELBER: It sounds like again, we're not speaking about revealing the details inside on substance.
MELBER: But on the approach and process, you found them to be professional and positive?
NUNBERG: Not only professional, I found them to be -- this was very corporate to me. In other words we always want to say we want the government to run like a business. This was like a white-shoe law firm going in. I sat in there, they asked me questions, they had charts out, they had specific things they wanted to know, they had follow-ups. It was almost like flow charts. I'm not saying they had a flowchart there. But the point is, is that it wasn't a waste of taxpayers money to have me in there, it wasn't a waste of time, for me either and I'm happy to have been in there and I'm happy to have cooperated. And I would say once again, like I said to you, had Donald Trump interview to Lester Holt-
MELBER: You mean Jim Comey?
NUNBERG: Excuse me, fired Jim Comey. Maybe I'm jumping ahead, butted a Donald Trump just fired Jim Comey, not given the Russian interview, I wouldn't have been there.
MELBER: Did you leave there knowing more than a lot of witnesses?
NUNBERG: Yes, like I'm saying, it was not a waste of time. I'm not a victim here. They had to have me in there, even though I had to spend money on legal fees this and that. They did not waste their time, they did not just gratuitously have me in there for no reason and to be mean.
MELBER: Finally before I return to Maya Wiley who's going to do some legal analysis for us. The other question when you broaden out, this notion that the theory of the case may turn on Donald Trump knowing about the hacked emails in advance or partaking in it. Is it possible that he has that exposure?
NUNBERG: I think you would be giving Donald Trump too much credit. I think if Vladimir Putin had a plan like this, he would tell Donald Trump because he would not be able to keep his mouth shut about it. It would hurt Vladimir Putin.