Stormy Daniels’ lawyer — and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate hopeful — Michael Avenatti told Time in a recent interview that he thinks the Democratic Party’s selection to run against Donald Trump in 2020 had “better be a white male.”
“When you have a white male making the arguments, they carry more weight,” Avenatti told the magazine in a profile that they ran on him. “Should they carry more weight? Absolutely not. But do they? Yes.”
Avenatti also credits some of his success as a lawyer — representing porn stars, immigrant parents, and a plaintiff accusing Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault — to being a white man.
After the profile was published, Avenatti denied making the comments to The Daily Caller when asked for comment on them, telling the conservative publication that, “I never said that, that’s complete bulls***. That’s my comment, complete bulls***.”
The reporter even read the comments back to him, and Avenatti again reiterated that the comments attributed to him in the Time article were “not what [he] said.”
Avenatti later took to Twitter to try to clear things up, tweeting, “Let me be clear: I have consistently called on white males like me to step [up], take responsibility, and be a part of stoping [sic] the sexism and bigotry that other white males engage in. It is especially important for them to call out other white males. I make this pt [sic] in my speeches.”
Let me be clear: I have consistently called on white males like me to step, take responsibility, and be a part of stoping the sexism and bigotry that other white males engage in. It is especially important for them to call out other white males. I make this pt in my speeches.
— Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) October 25, 2018
Avenatti’s comments make it clear that he’s considering a run for the nomination in 2020, having recently visited key battleground states and offering public speeches at Democratic functions. His speeches often heavily criticize President Trump.
After a recent speaking arrangement in New Hampshire, he told CNN, “Obviously, New Hampshire is the second state that ultimately picks a Democratic nominee. In the event I were to run, it’s important to be there.”
He’s also made two recent trips to Ohio — meeting with David Betras, the chairman of the Mahoning County Democratic Party — and having dinner with Rep. Tim Ryan, another possible 2020 Democratic contender.
“I think he is a phenomenal guy and I have gotten to know him a bit in the last week. We went to dinner last week, he was in Youngstown and I really like him,” Ryan told CNN after meeting with Avenatti.
He’s also made trips to see Democratic officials in Pennsylvania and Iowa, culminating in a speaking slot at the 15th Annual Wing Ding fundraiser in Clear Lake, Iowa.
“When they go low, I say, we hit harder,” he said to a crowd of die-hard Iowa Democrats, putting his own twist on former first lady Michelle Obama’s famous quote.