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Subpoenaed Trump aide goes silent after Monday's bizarre round of interviews

Posted at 8:59 AM, Mar 06, 2018

Sam Nunberg's interview tour is over for now.

Nunberg was booked to appear on CNN's "New Day" on Tuesday morning, but he did not show up for the interview.

When an unknown person answered the phone at his home Tuesday morning, the person said Nunberg is done doing interviews.

According to two sources with knowledge of the matter, ABC also pursued Nunberg for Tuesday's "Good Morning America." But the producers feared that he would bail, and sure enough, he stopped responding to messages on Tuesday morning. "He went dark," one of the sources said.

Nunberg's change in media strategy appears related to thechange of heartthat unfolded before a national audience during his media tour on Monday.

The former Donald Trump campaign aide gave more than a dozen interviews on Monday in an extraordinary act of defiance of special counsel Robert Mueller.

Related: Who is Sam Nunberg?

He started out by flaunting Mueller's subpoena and saying "let him arrest me." At one point, he even handed the subpoena paper to MSNBC anchor Ari Melber. He seemed to revel in the show he was starring in.

"Jake, I'm definitely the first person to ever do this, right?" he asked CNN's Jake Tapper.

Interviewer after interviewer emphasized that Nunberg could be facing serious legal jeopardy. They asked if he wanted to reconsider his position; asked if he'd consulted his lawyer; and asked about his family.

Nunberg asked questions too -- almost as if he was seeking legal advice. In the 7 p.m. hour on Monday, he asked CNN's Erin Burnett, "Do you think Robert Mueller is going to send me to prison, Erin, for this?" She answered, "I don't know, but he certainly would be within his rights."

Some of Nunberg's associates said they were worried about his state of mind. Burnett said at the end of the interview that she smelled alcohol on his breath. But he denied that he had been drinking.

Paparazzi-style photographers were waiting for Nunberg outside CNN's New York bureau. He spoke with one of the camera crews and then continued talking with reporters by phone. But his tone changed. By the end of the day, Nunberg signaled that he will continue cooperating with Mueller, after all.

The special counsel office had no comment.

Nunberg's last interview of the day appeared to be with Olivia Nuzzi of New York magazine. He told her around midnight that "I'm gonna cooperate!"

Regarding his TV tour, he said to Nuzzi, "Did I sound drunk? I think that I was just more of myself in these interviews than I've ever been. That's what I think it was."

He took another call, then called Nuzzi back at 12:55 a.m., said he was happy that "I didn't get dumped by my lawyer today."

On Tuesday morning, Nunberg did not answer calls to his cell phone. Callers were greeted by a message that said, "The voice mail belonging to Sam Nunberg is full."

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