Should you ever find yourself in a legal quandary, do not do what former Trump aide Sam Nunberg did yesterday. Nunberg, a one-time legal adviser (irony alert) to then-candidate Donald Trump was served with a subpoena from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team, requesting documents and an appearance before a federal grand jury. An intimidating and stress-inducing situation to be sure, but Nunberg compounded his issues—and presumably had his legal team tearing their hair out—by responding in the absolute worst way possible: he went on television.
A lot of television, actually.
Nunberg’s ill-advised media tour began with a call into MSNBC Live with Katy Tur, where he spent quite some time threatening to ignore the legal document, and throwing as many people under the bus as possible. He sounded paranoid, panicked, terrified, and defiant.
He continued on this calamitous crusade by calling into Jake Tapper’s CNN show, appearing live in MSNBC’s The Beat with Ari Melber, and topped the evening off with CNN’s Erin Burnett where she questioned if he had been drinking. At times he seemed ready to rip up the subpoena live on air, other times questioning legal analysts if he’d actually go to jail if he ignored it.
Rule of thumb: should you find yourself in a precarious legal position, it’s generally not wise to then go on national television and essentially thumb your nose at the government.
Nunberg seemed to change his tune later in the evening, conceding that he would “likely” cooperate with Mueller and his team, but the damage had already been done. You’ll likely see and hear clips of these interviews routinely for the foreseeable future. With his whirlwind media blitz that torpedoed his legal strategy, Sam Nunberg is officially entered into the PR Blunders Hall of Fame.