The full Nunberg? 4 presidential allies who went rogue

For years, former Trump campaign adviser Sam Nunberg has been a reliable source of chatter about the businessman and ...

Posted: Mar 6, 2018 3:30 PM
Updated: Mar 6, 2018 3:30 PM

For years, former Trump campaign adviser Sam Nunberg has been a reliable source of chatter about the businessman and President's tastes and moods, a longtime ally who, when he wasn't being hired or fired, devoted his waking existence to winning Trump's approval.

To say that changed on Monday might be to misinterpret the chaos. Nunberg, who's been in exile from Trumpworld for some time now, still surely harbors some underlying desire for a triumphant return. But with that looking unlikely, and a subpoena from special counsel Robert Mueller in his lap, Nunberg did the Trumpian thing -- he created a media spectacle.

Nunberg is hardly the first presidential friend, employee or acquaintance to implode after being hung out to dry by someone they once admired or, at the least, counted on for a paycheck. Nor is he unique for taking that sense of betrayal or alarm and sharing it with the press.

Here are four famous presidential pals turned high-profile haters.

Martha Mitchell

"If it hadn't been for Martha, there'd have been no Watergate," former President Richard Nixon told British interviewer David Frost in 1977, "because John wasn't mindin' that store."

John is John Mitchell, attorney general and then campaign manager for Nixon, who believed that because Mitchell was caught up attending to his wife's wavering mental health, he wasn't properly focused on directing the campaign. Anyway, that's Nixon's take.

The reality is that Martha Mitchell did, indeed, speed up the unraveling of that criminal presidency, usually via telephone calls with the news agency United Press International. She was known to dial up its reporters when she had an opinion none of the President's apparatchiks wanted to hear. (It was, after all, a time before Twitter.)

In May 1973, she told UPI that Nixon should resign.

Later on Mitchell offered a more personal assessment, which wouldn't have sounded out of place coming from Nunberg on Monday.

"He bleeds people," she said of Nixon. "He draws every drop of blood and then drops them from a cliff."

Scott McClellan

Before Hillary Clinton wrote her post-election memoir, there was an even more controversial book titled "What Happened," published in 2008 by George W. Bush's White House press secretary, Scott McClellan.

McClellan had been the top presidential spokesman from 2003 to 2006, nearly three years that spanned the early months of the Iraq War, Bush's successful 2004 re-election campaign and the administration's post-Katrina meltdown.

In the book, McClellan offers a gauzy take on Bush personally, but goes on to argue that the White House had used "propaganda" to sell the Iraq invasion and that he too had been misled about the role of Vice President Dick Cheney's inner circle in leaking the identity of former CIA operative Valerie Plame.

"I blame myself," he wrote of the Plame fiasco. "I allowed myself to be deceived. But the behavior of the president and his key advisers was even more disappointing."

On the subject of the Iraq War, McClellan repeatedly criticized Bush as being constitutionally unable (or unwilling) to acknowledge his errors. Then, wrapping Iraq with Katrina, he delivered this hammer blow:

"One of the worst disasters in our nation's history became one of the biggest disasters in Bush's presidency. Katrina and the botched federal response to it would largely come to define Bush's second term. And the perception of this catastrophe was made worse by previous decisions President Bush had made, including, first and foremost, the failure to be open and forthright on Iraq and rushing to war with inadequate planning and preparation for its aftermath."

Bush's press secretary at the time, Dana Perino, dismissed McClellan as a "disgruntled" former employee.

"For those of us who fully supported him, before, during and after he was press secretary, we are puzzled," she said. "It is sad -- this is not the Scott we knew."

Dick Morris

There was a period of time, after the Democrats got wiped out in the 1994 midterm elections, that Dick Morris might have been Bill Clinton's closest political aide. By 1996, Morris, whose connections to Clinton traced back to the late 1970s in Arkansas, was working as the President's chief campaign adviser.

But that all ended in a blur of scandal just a few months before the election. On the final day of the Democratic National Convention in Chicago. Morris resigned his post after his relationship with a prostitute became a screaming tabloid scandal.

By 2016, Morris had established himself as one of the Clinton family's foremost critics, a font of would-be scandals and salacious gossip, who in June of that year was named the National Enquirer's chief political commentator and correspondent -- and told The New York Times a month later that he was "constantly sending ideas and thoughts to Trump and his people."

Today, Morris seems to spend most of his time posting videos to his website. This below is a representative sample:

James T. Callender

The Scottish immigrant became a hatchet man for none other than Thomas Jefferson, who ran against John Adams for the presidency in 1796, unsuccessfully, and again in 1800, when he won.

In a pamphlet titled "The Prospect Before Us," Callender -- when he was still a Jefferson man -- infamously described Adams as a "hideous hermaphroditical character, which has neither the force and firmness of a man, nor the gentleness and sensibility of a woman."

Callender would be jailed for violating the Sedition Act, then freed soon before Jefferson, who would issue a formal pardon that year, took office. But things went downhill from there. Callender expected to be feted by the new President for his loyalty when, in reality, Jefferson was calling him, in a letter to James Madison, a charity case.

Seeing his plans spoiled, Callender would slowly drink himself to death. But before that, he resumed his writing, this time spilling ink in opposition to Jefferson in a Federalist publication. On September 1, 1802, he accused Jefferson of fathering "several children" with a woman -- a slave -- named "Sally," now believed to be Sally Hemmings.

"There is not an individual in the neighbourhood of Charlottesville who does not believe the story," Callender wrote, "and not a few who know it."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 149940

Reported Deaths: 3779
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto10097104
Hinds9984199
Harrison7116110
Jackson6360119
Rankin5588103
Lee509195
Madison4799106
Forrest383186
Jones357688
Lauderdale3496147
Lafayette326051
Washington3179107
Lamar291550
Oktibbeha245462
Bolivar241384
Lowndes237364
Panola222350
Neshoba2206118
Marshall217250
Leflore205590
Pontotoc199928
Monroe198177
Sunflower191655
Lincoln190865
Warren176857
Tate169851
Union167325
Copiah164140
Pike162658
Yazoo156039
Scott154829
Itawamba152935
Pearl River152167
Alcorn151328
Coahoma150543
Simpson148353
Prentiss146230
Adams141950
Grenada140945
Leake134944
Holmes130861
George125524
Tippah125230
Covington123439
Winston122224
Hancock121139
Wayne117923
Marion116646
Attala113034
Tishomingo109442
Chickasaw107632
Newton105629
Tallahatchie97027
Clay91327
Clarke90553
Jasper82822
Stone77014
Walthall76928
Calhoun75513
Montgomery74525
Carroll72415
Lawrence71814
Smith71316
Yalobusha71327
Noxubee71017
Perry67026
Tunica61019
Greene60322
Claiborne58616
Jefferson Davis57017
Amite54014
Humphreys53619
Benton49318
Quitman4927
Webster44314
Kemper43618
Wilkinson39822
Jefferson35211
Franklin3395
Choctaw3357
Sharkey30917
Issaquena1164
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 244993

Reported Deaths: 3572
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson32314500
Mobile19859361
Madison13223148
Tuscaloosa13049154
Montgomery12342236
Shelby1031577
Baldwin873398
Lee775766
Morgan662650
Calhoun6301119
Etowah627666
Marshall627255
Houston525638
DeKalb485536
Cullman439442
Limestone425145
St. Clair419555
Lauderdale407854
Elmore406864
Walker3657111
Talladega351454
Jackson320423
Colbert311942
Blount292240
Autauga273542
Franklin252633
Coffee245415
Dale232654
Dallas226232
Chilton223438
Russell22193
Covington218934
Escambia198331
Chambers176850
Tallapoosa176391
Pike158614
Clarke158419
Marion140236
Winston133023
Lawrence127936
Pickens123518
Geneva12218
Marengo121524
Bibb117917
Barbour117310
Butler116541
Randolph102921
Cherokee102224
Hale97031
Clay91924
Fayette91616
Washington91219
Henry8546
Lowndes79929
Monroe78911
Cleburne77214
Macon73722
Crenshaw71130
Bullock69619
Perry6886
Conecuh68414
Lamar6798
Wilcox63518
Sumter58122
Greene42618
Choctaw42213
Coosa3444
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