Michael Avenatti — the lawyer for Stephanie Clifford, the adult film star better known as Stormy Daniels has said that he was “exploring a run for the presidency of the United States.”
In a political scene unthinkable just months ago, Avenatti was the closing speaker at the Democratic Wing Ding in Clear Lake, Iowa, a traditional stop for presidential hopefuls. His remarks came after a tour through the early-voting state that included a visit to the state fair and meetings with key Democratic officials.
Avenatti has entertained the possibility of running for president before,that he would mount a bid against President Trump “only if I think that there is no other candidate in the race that has a REAL chance at beating him.”
Avenatti represents Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, in several legal actions against Mr. Trump and his associates, including a defamation suit against the president. Clifford was paid $130,000 shortly before the 2016 election by then-Trump attorney Michael Cohen in exchange for her silence about an alleged affair with the president a decade earlier, which Mr. Trump has denied. She is suing to invalidate the terms of a nondisclosure agreement.
“I wanted to come to Iowa and listen to people and learn about some issues that are facing the citizens of Iowa and do my homework,” Avenatti told the Register in an interview Thursday. He also posed for selfies with fans at the Iowa State Fair, the paper said.
Avenatti has become a ubiquitous presence on cable news, quickly making a name for himself as an outspoken critic of the president. In his interview with the Register, Avenatti suggested that his combative personality would make him a strong presidential candidate.
“I think there’s a huge appetite within the party for a fighter,” he said. “I think the party has yearned for a fighter — a fighter for good, if you will — for a significant period of time. And for many, I’m probably seen as that individual.”
However, the attorney also acknowledged that his cable news persona had likely caused people to dismiss him as a potential candidate.
“I would like to think people would take me seriously,” he said. “And I think, hopefully, the message that I deliver tomorrow night will be well received by Iowa Democrats.”
Avenatti is also scheduled to speak at a gathering of the Iowa Democratic Elected Officials Association later in August.
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