Former Donald Trump aide Sam Nunberg proudly declared he would resist a subpoena from special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation in the the 2016 election campaign and then decided he would cooperate after all.

Throughout much of Monday, Nunberg – who worked on the Trump campaign in 2015 until he was fired in August that year over racially charged Facebook posts – lashed out a Trump, his campaign and Mueller.

Nunberg even threw down the challenge to "arrest me", declaring he was angry that he was requested to appear in front of a grand jury and turn over thousands of emails and other communications.

In a defiant set of interviews with CNN that the news channel described as "bonkers", he said:

Why do I have to do it? I'm not cooperating.

He also told CNN that the whole thing sounded like too much work for him.

I'm not going to the grand jury. I'm not going to spend 30 hours going over my emails. I'm not doing it.

At first, he didn't seem to realise how serious defying the investigation was, an offence that could send him to jail. He told CNN:

I'm not going to get sent to prison

Nunberg made several such appearances with various new organisations throughout the day where he stressed his intention not to comply with the subpoena and turn over crucial evidence.

In earlier interviews, Nunberg said he thought Mueller may already have incriminating evidence on Trump directly, although he would not say what that evidence might be, telling MSNBC:

I think he may have done something during the election, but I don't know that for sure.

He also said he believes the President probably knew about the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting between his eldest son, top campaign stuff and a team of Russians.

Shortly after this allegation, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders rebuffed him during the White House press briefing.

I definitely think he doesn't know that for sure because he's incorrect. As we've said many times before, there was no collusion with the Trump campaign.

He hasn't worked at the White House, so I certainly can't speak to him or the lack of knowledge that he clearly has.

After all that, Nunberg later dampened down his defiance to admit that he would probably cooperate after all, telling The Associated Press:

I'm going to end up cooperating with them.

Additional reporting by Associated Press.

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