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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: 331863

Reported Deaths: 7494
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto22855279
Hinds22625437
Harrison19462326
Rankin14765286
Jackson14233251
Madison10658227
Lee10398178
Jones8713169
Forrest8164157
Lauderdale7528243
Lowndes6761150
Lamar665988
Lafayette6446124
Washington5497139
Bolivar4907134
Pearl River4889149
Oktibbeha476898
Panola4719112
Marshall4648106
Warren4612125
Pontotoc438873
Monroe4243137
Union424379
Neshoba4179180
Lincoln4088115
Hancock402788
Leflore3562125
Pike3511111
Tate348988
Alcorn343174
Sunflower342293
Adams331987
Yazoo330573
Scott330175
Simpson313690
Copiah311467
Itawamba309580
Coahoma308285
Tippah298368
Prentiss292563
Covington280183
Marion278980
Leake277975
Wayne269942
Grenada265688
George259851
Newton256064
Tishomingo235769
Winston235084
Jasper225748
Attala220373
Chickasaw215960
Stone209137
Holmes194974
Clay191554
Tallahatchie181542
Clarke181480
Calhoun177332
Smith175334
Yalobusha169240
Walthall140448
Lawrence137026
Greene134934
Amite131843
Noxubee131135
Perry130838
Montgomery130644
Carroll124531
Webster116732
Jefferson Davis112934
Tunica110827
Benton104425
Claiborne104231
Kemper100329
Humphreys99033
Franklin85923
Quitman83519
Choctaw80919
Wilkinson73232
Jefferson69028
Sharkey51518
Issaquena1696
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 565510

Reported Deaths: 11468
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson828061584
Mobile44938853
Madison36534532
Tuscaloosa26589465
Shelby26409255
Montgomery25598623
Baldwin23319324
Lee16691179
Calhoun15030332
Morgan14877288
Etowah14563368
Marshall12723235
Houston11302292
Elmore10576217
St. Clair10449251
Limestone10420158
Cullman10198204
Lauderdale9883253
DeKalb9226191
Talladega8705187
Walker7545286
Autauga7388113
Jackson7216117
Blount7147139
Colbert6522142
Coffee5962131
Dale5224117
Russell463942
Chilton4603117
Covington4502125
Franklin439781
Tallapoosa4343156
Escambia414782
Chambers3813124
Dallas3674163
Clarke361562
Marion3354106
Pike323179
Lawrence3176101
Winston289672
Bibb276165
Geneva267383
Marengo257367
Barbour241860
Pickens238862
Butler233571
Hale230578
Fayette223863
Henry203345
Cherokee192347
Randolph192244
Monroe190241
Washington174539
Macon167252
Crenshaw163457
Clay161859
Cleburne158445
Lamar149138
Lowndes143854
Wilcox128431
Bullock125342
Conecuh117730
Coosa115229
Perry109628
Sumter107532
Greene95935
Choctaw63125
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Columbus
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