‘Go to the mattresses,” a line from “The Godfather” about turning to mercenaries during times of war, has reportedly become a favorite refrain for those close to Donald Trump.
In that vein, the president, reeling from an escalating Russia investigation that has roped in some of his closest advisers, is considering bringing back several campaign aides. According to The Washington Post, one of the former Trump players “being courted to play [a] more active role” is Sam Nunberg.
Here are five facts to know about the New York native:
1) He had a daylong meltdown on national TV.
Nunberg appeared on more than a half-dozen news shows March 5 spinning various (sometimes contradictory) versions of his claim that he would defy a subpoena from Russia probe special counsel Robert Mueller. After insisting he was ready to go to jail, he conceded that he had no good reason for not complying with the order — and might comply.
Lawyers said he has little choice but to cooperate — noting that he would almost certainly face contempt charges if he doesn’t.
2) Nunberg’s bizarro day sparked an unlikely debate on journalistic ethics.
By the end of his roller-coaster ride, Nunberg was facing questions about his sobriety — and journalists were asking if the media was complicit in his apparent mental health issues by giving him a self-destructive platform. Erin Burnett asked Nunberg point blank if he had been drinking after saying on live television that she smelled booze on his breath.
He denied drinking but admitted talking prescription medication. “Is that OK?” he asked.
3) He went to Ramaz.
The 37-year-old attended the elite Manhattan Modern Orthodox school. He later attended McGill University and worked on Republican campaigns.
4) He was one of Trump’s first political consultants.
Nunberg assisted the real estate magnate during his 2011 speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference, a large annual gathering of right-wing activists. As CNN put it, the speech “marked the start of Trump’s serious and aggressive foray” into Republican politics.
5) Trump has already hired and fired him… three separate times.
Nunberg and Trump have what could generously be described as an on-again, off-again relationship. The first time Trump fired Nunberg, it was over an unfavorable BuzzFeed profile.
6) The last time Nunberg was fired, it was for a series of racist Facebook posts.
In one of them, he referred to Rev. Al Sharpton’s daughter as a “N- - -.” Nunberg has since apologized to Sharpton.
7) Trump sued Nunberg for $10 million.
The GOP candidate alleged that his ex-staffer breached a confidentiality agreement. The lawsuit was “amicably” settled.
8) Since then, Nunberg has earned a reputation as a “reporter whisperer.”
Nunberg’s full-time job seems to be talking to the press about Trump. In May alone, his name has popped up in articles by The Washington Post, Politico, HuffPost, The Hill, NY Magazine, GQ and more, usually helping to explain Trump’s thoughts or work process.
Jeffrey Boxer is the Deputy Digital at the Forward. Contact him at email@example.com, or follow him on Twitter @jeffboxer.
Dave Goldiner is the Forward’s director of digital media. Dave is a veteran journalist who has spent two decades working at newspapers in the United States and Africa. A native New Yorker, Goldiner wrote for the New York Daily News, where he covered some of the biggest stories of our time, including the attacks of September 11, along with thousands of stories of hope and heartbreak. He also studied and worked in Southern Africa and has written for publications in South Africa and Zimbabwe. He holds masters degrees in journalism and public administration from Columbia University. Dave can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow him on Twitter @davegoldiner
Sam Nunberg: 8 Facts About The Former Trump Aide