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2020 Watch: Stormy Daniels attorney headed to N.H.

  • Michael Avenatti, center, attorney for porn actress Stormy Daniels, arrives to speak at an "Occupy Lafayette Park" protest outside the White House, Tuesday, July 17, 2018, in Washington. This is the second day in a row the group has held a protest following President Donald Trump's meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) Andrew Harnik

  • FILE - In this Thursday, April 26, 2018, file photo, Michael Avenatti, Stormy Daniels' attorney, talks to reporters outside of federal court in New York. Avenatti says he has information showing that President Donald Trump’s longtime personal attorney, Michael Cohen, received 500,000 from a Russian billionaire within months of paying hush money to Daniels. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File) Seth Wenig

  • FILE - In this April 16, 2018, file photo, adult film actress Stormy Daniels, left, stands with her lawyer Michael Avenatti as she speaks outside federal court in New York. The story told by President Donald Trump and the White House about payments made to Daniels has evolved over time. The White House has consistently denied Trump had an affair with Daniels, but statements from the president and his aides about a hush money payment made just before the 2016 election have changed. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File) Mary Altaffer



For the Monitor
Friday, August 10, 2018

Michael Avenatti – the Los Angeles-based attorney best known representing adult film actress Stormy Daniels in her lawsuit against President Donald Trump – says he’s coming to the first-in-the-nation primary state in the next month as he seriously considers a bid for the Democratic presidential nomination.

“I plan to visit within the next month. I’m in the process of setting up a number of meetings in New Hampshire,” he told the Monitor.

Avenatti was interviewed Friday during a swing through Iowa, the state that holds the first caucuses in the presidential nominating calendar. He stopped by the Iowa State Fair on Thursday, and on Friday spoke at the Iowa Democrats ‘Wing Ding’ dinner. Both are must stops for White House hopefuls.

Word of his upcoming trip to the Granite State was first reported by Jonathan Martin of the New York Times.

“This process is really not about me talking to people,” Avenatti said. “I’m listening to people in Iowa, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, and other key states to try to learn about what issues are important in those various states and whether this actually makes sense for me to do.”

Avenatti, a staple on the cable news networks, explained that flirting with a White House bid is serious.

“This is anything but a publicity stunt. I bristle at that suggestion,” he said. “If anyone’s been paying attention the last five or six months, they know at this point I don’t need any additional publicity. And I would certainly not waste people’s time or use the citizens of a particular state in order to accomplish that.”

In sharing that he’s seriously mulling a presidential bid, Avenatti took a shot at some potential rivals, saying “at least I’m willing to admit it, unlike a lot of other candidates that aren’t even willing to admit they’re serious about it.”

Avenatti said he doesn’t have any timetable as he explores launching a campaign.

“I’m taking this day by day. I’m learning as I go along,” he said.

With no early favorites, the race for the Democratic nomination is expected to produce a large field, with possibly up to 20 candidates.

“I think the Democratic Party has been in need of a fighter, an effective fighter, for a long time,” Avenatti said. “And I think there’s a significant hunger, thirst, for someone of that ilk.”

Any of them would make a better president than Trump, he said.

“I think there’s a number of people who are more than qualified to be president and would make a great president,” Avenatti said.

He said the question Democrats should be asking is who is the best person to combat Trump’s bombast because there’s only a handful a people who can actually win, Avenatti explained.

“I am confident that I could be one of the people to beat this guy. I think it’s going to take somebody who is a fighter, that is up for a brutal knockdown, drag-out fight, because I think that’s what it’s going to be. I think it’s going to be a fight for the republic,” he said.

Avenatti said the upcoming election may be the “most important in modern times,” and he spotlighted Trump’s nominations to the Supreme Court.

While much is known about Avenatti’s legal record, his stance on political issues is more gray.

As for policy, he described himself as “a Bill Clinton Democrat who embraces a couple of progressive ideas such as Medicare for All.”