After going on a defiant media spree on Monday, former Trump campaign aide Sam Nunberg said Tuesday that he would comply with special counsel Robert Mueller’s subpoena to appear before a federal grand jury regarding Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
Though he’d bombastically claimed the opposite on multiple cable news shows, Nunberg did suggest to The Associated Press on Monday that he’d change his mind. And by Tuesday, he’d done just that.
Apparently, it was something he heard on MSNBC’s “The Beat with Ari Melber” that led him to reconsider his position.
Nunberg told The Washington Post that listening to fellow guest Maya Wiley, a civil rights activist, lawyer and New School professor who previously served as New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s chief counsel, was the reason he changed his mind.
He described Wiley as “very, very smart” and said she “made a compelling case to me.”
Wiley, a racial justice expert, joined the MSNBC segment shortly after Nunberg noted that he had been fired from the Trump campaign following the discovery of racially charged Facebook posts that he’d allegedly authored.
She pointed out to him that if Mueller had offered him immunity, as Nunberg said, he personally didn’t have any reason not to testify. Then she noted that failing to testify would be a disservice to his self-described mentor, Roger Stone.
“It actually makes it appear that Roger Stone has something to hide because you will not go testify,” Wiley said.
As for Nunberg’s complaints about how much time complying with the subpoena would take, Wiley was incredulous.
“You’d rather possibly spend a year in jail than spend 80 hours going through emails?” she asked.
In a statement on Tuesday to MSNBC, Wiley said:
I joined the set after Sam Nunberg referenced his racially offensive statements that got him fired from the Trump campaign, dismissing their relevance because they wouldn’t have lost Trump a vote. Unspoken was his willingness to use the “N” word in reference to black leaders. That Nunberg actually recognizes the value and intelligence of a black woman is, I hope, a life lesson for him. I assume he has sought the advice and counsel of his lawyer. I hope what I gave him was a sense of humanity we need now more than ever in this country.