Former Trump campaign aide Sam Nunberg arrived at the federal courthouse in Washington D.C. Friday to testify before a grand jury as part of FBI Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe.
Nunberg told reporters he was not making a statement as he entered the courthouse. He was accompanied by his attorney, Patrick Brackley, who was not allowed into the Grand Jury room itself.
Nunberg was one of Trump’s earliest political advisers, helping him connect with conservative audiences ahead of his 2016 presidential run.
He was fired in 2014 after an unflattering piece about Trump ran in BuzzFeed. A communications aide who helped arrange the interview with BuzzFeed, Nunberg was blamed by Trump for the bad press. He was eventually rehired but then fired again by Trump in 2015, after past racially-charged Facebook posts surfaced.
Later during the campaign, Trump sued Nunberg for $10 million, accusing him of breaching a confidentiality agreement. The lawsuit was later settled.
He returned to the spotlight Monday in a series of bizarre and rambling interviews to newspapers and TV networks, where he vowed to defy a subpoena from Mueller and sparked speculation that he was drunk — leading a CNN host to question him on air about the alleged smell of alcohol on his breath.
“I’m not spending 80 hours going over my emails with Roger Stone and Steve Bannon and producing them,” Nunberg initially told The Washington Post. “Donald Trump won this election on his own. He campaigned his ass off. And there is nobody who hates him more than me.”
He later backed off his defiance and said he would cooperate after all.
Mueller’s team has requested records from him of conversations he had with outgoing White House Communications Director Hope Hicks, former White House strategist Steve Bannon, Trump attorney Michael Cohen, former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski and adviser Roger Stone.
A source close to the Trump campaign told Fox News that Nunberg was fired twice “for good reason” and known to be erratic, referring to his media appearances Monday.
The appearances led to widespread criticism from the networks, with Axios calling it “awful scandal porn,” and other analysts questioning how ethical it was to put Nunberg on the air.
But in an interview with the Associated Press this week, he said he had worked for hours to produce the thousands of emails requested by Mueller.
“I thought it was a teachable moment,” he said about his prior media appearances.
Fox News’ Jake Gibson, Alex Pappas and Brian Flood contributed to this report.