CNN’s “New Day” panel couldn’t help but yuk it up about Sam Nunberg and the bizarre day of press and attention.
“So, Sam Nunburg is an interesting character,” host Alisyn Camerota began Tuesday’s show.
“Ya think?” legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin quipped.
Monday night, Nunberg told CNN’s Erin Burnett that he’d rather give special counsel Bob Mueller his email password and let the investigators get whatever they want. Toobin said they’d probably be fine with that, but that the subpoena is more than a request for documents.
“What if his counsel puts in a suggestion that he’ll plead the Fifth,” Cuomo asked. “Not to throw cold water on all this deliciousness.”
Toobin explained it’s all over if Nunberg does that and all of his controversy would go away. He also noted that if he gets immunity he would be prevented from pleading the Fifth.
“I mean, only the best people,” Daily Beast editor John Avlon joked, quoting President Donald Trump’s comment that he always hires the best people. “This was a spectacular rolling meltdown. This was full Nunberg. He was not well.”
He explained that it isn’t clear if he’s attempting to protect Trump friend Roger Stone or himself.
“Were there outside elements affecting impairing his judgment?” Avlon asked. “He says no. Viewers might come to a different conclusion.”
Camerota cut in to say that it might be that Nunberg is angry rather than “not well” because he was “mistreated by Trump. He says he was treated terribly.”
Avlon noted that Nunberg certainly accomplished it.
“But I don’t think this was somebody who was making decisions from a strategic perspective,” he said. “This was more impulse control issues. He’s close to Roger Stone.”
Toobin argued the serious element was that Mueller is likely asking about Roger Stone and the hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee and John Podesta.
“The 13-defendant case that was indicted a couple weeks ago was the case about Russian manipulation of social media,” Toobin explained. “Mueller has done nothing yet about the hacked e-mails. He hasn’t charged any Russians. He hasn’t charged any Americans. I think the fact that he wants to talk to Nunberg now about Stone and hacked e-mails suggests Mueller is moving on to a possible case against someone and not necessarily Stone, to be sure, but against the people who hacked John Podesta’s e-mails and hacked the DNC e-mails and that would be very significant.”
“Look, my interest in this guy is that — let’s assume he knows nothing about any of these things and everything he is saying is nonsense,” Cuomo said. “Still, he is a great window into who Trump had around him in a very formative phase. Josh Green’s book, right, we’ll recall — you heard this before but the context is sharper for you now that you’ve been introduced to Nunberg. He and Stone and Bannon were the fundamental group that came up with the wall as a way to keep Trump as a candidate on track and talking about immigration because they knew that immigration was making the base they were trying to access.”
He noted that the three strategists told Trump to talk about the wall at the Iowa Freedom Summit and the crowd went nuts.
“Warming to the concept,” Cuomo read from Green’s book. “Trump waited a beat and then added a flourish that brought down the house. ‘Nobody,’ he said, ‘builds like Trump.’ And then once he heard applause for his name, boom, he was in baby. That’s all we heard for the next 14 months.”
Toobin and Cuomo argued that ultimately is how we ended up with Trump as president.
“The function of yesterday is really to gaslight the president and the White House with this,” Avlon argued. “This was not a good day. The rolling reality show set up by the president, late in the season 1 unexpected character reemergence with the cray-cray.”
“I only hire the best,” Cuomo quoted Trump. “If the guy had a pet monkey on his shoulder, he would be more legitimate. Can’t make it up. Can’t make it up.”
Watch the full discussion below: