Donald Trump's presidential campaign wants more than $10 million from an ex-aide it accuses of leaking potentially damaging information to the media, according to court documents filed this week.
Trump's campaign fired the aide, Sam Nunberg, in August after racially insensitive posts appeared on his personal Facebook page. He denied to NBC News that he had written the posts.
Nunberg filed an action Tuesday in a New York court disclosing that in May, the Trump campaign went to the American Arbitration Association demanding that Nunberg cough up the money for allegedly having violated a confidentiality agreement.
Asked about the action Wednesday, Nunberg told NBC News: "I'm not guilty. I'm beautiful."
In its demand, the Trump campaign claimed that Nunberg had been caught "red-handed" as the source for a New York Post gossip item reporting that Corey Lewandowski, Trump's campaign manager at the time, and Hope Hicks, the campaign's press secretary, had gotten into a public screaming match on a Manhattan street.
Among several other procedural arguments asking the court to quash the arbitration request, Nunberg categorically denied leaking to the Post in his response Tuesday.
And even if he had leaked, he argued, it was irrelevant because the argument between Lewandowski and Hicks was about a personal dispute between the two — not over a campaign issue — and was therefore outside the scope of the confidentiality agreement. The document doesn't go into what that personal matter might have been.
Nunberg's filing alleges that the $10 million demand is a "frivolous and retaliatory" attack on him for his "change of political opinion" in March, when he turned up to endorse Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas for the Republican nomination.
"Mr. Nunberg is being harassed by the Trump Campaign for exercising free speech and voicing his opinion on material issues that the public is entitled to before voting" in November, the court filing asserts.