Former Trump campaign aide Sam Nunberg is backing down from his brazen declarations less than 24 hours earlier that he planned to defy a federal subpoena issued by special counsel Robert Mueller.
"I'm going to cooperate with whatever they want," Nunberg told CNN Tuesday in a phone interview.
Nunberg struck a dramatically different tone Tuesday than he did over the course of several TV interviews a day earlier. Rather than daring the special prosecutor to throw him in jail and repeatedly asserting that he is "not cooperating," Nunberg sounded chastened and said he was diligently working to aggregate the emails the subpoena demanded.
"I'm working on organizing it," he said. "I'm just trying to get this done so I can then get back to try to have a life and work on my job."
Nunberg said he plans to comply with all aspects of the subpoena, including the federal grand jury testimony he has been called to deliver on Friday.
Still, Nunberg maintained that the document request laid out in the subpoena was "extremely time consuming" and said he had no regrets about his very public defiance.
"I got very aggravated," Nunberg said, explaining why he felt compelled to go on a TV blitz on CNN, MSNBC and a local New York station to share his frustrations.
He said he didn't believe his public defiance would wind him in any legal trouble, noting that Mueller's team is composed of "very professional people."
Nunberg said he was ultimately swayed by the points some of the interviewers and TV guests he spoke with on Monday raised, notably former US attorney Barbara McQuade, who warned Nunberg on MSNBC he could be charged with contempt.
Nunberg's series of interviews Monday raised concerns among some of his friends and acquaintances who described the salvo as a very public meltdown. In an interview with CNN's Erin Burnett, the host told Nunberg she smelled alcohol on his breath, but the former Trump aide denied he had been drinking.
Asked Tuesday about the concerns he elicited, Nunberg declined to get into details and said simply "it's not an issue."
After spending hours on television Monday, Nunberg ended the phone interview after just three minutes, saying he needed to return to the arduous task of organizing the emails the special counsel asked him to provide via a written subpoena.