Michael Avenatti rules out 2020 bid

Attorney Michael Avenatti said Tuesday that he will not run for president in 2020, ending months of speculat...

Posted: Dec 4, 2018 7:28 PM
Updated: Dec 4, 2018 7:28 PM

Attorney Michael Avenatti said Tuesday that he will not run for president in 2020, ending months of speculation about his potential interest in a White House bid.

"After consultation with my family and at their request, I have decided not to seek the Presidency of the United States in 2020. I do not make this decision lightly -- I make it out of respect for my family. But for their concerns, I would run," Avenatti said in a statement he tweeted.

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Avenatti made his reluctance with the decision clear, sharing his concerns with the 2020 field as currently constituted.

"I remain concerned that the Democratic Party will move toward nominating an individual who might make an exceptional president but has no chance of actually beating Donald Trump," he wrote.

"The party must immediately recognize that many of the likely candidates are not battle-tested, and have no real chance at winning. We will not prevail in 2020 without a fighter. I remain hopeful the party finds one."

The California-based lawyer had publicly flirted with the possibility of a 2020 presidential bid for months, since his emergence on the political scene representing adult film actress Stormy Daniels. Avenatti represented Daniels in her lawsuit over a non-disclosure agreement she signed before the 2016 election regarding her alleged relationship with then-candidate Trump.

Despite Avenatti's instinct for the spotlight and his high-profile, confrontational approach toward President Trump, he was polling at just 1% in an October CNN poll of the hypothetical 2020 Democratic field.

Avenatti's decision also comes after he was arrested on suspicion of domestic violence against his now former girlfriend in November. The Los Angeles district attorney declined to charge him with a felony but sent the case to the city attorney's office, where misdemeanor charges are still being considered in the case.

In his statement, Avenatti said he would "continue to represent Stormy Daniels and others against Donald Trump and his cronies and will not rest until Trump is removed from office, and our republic and its values are restored."

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