Michael Avenatti Says 2020 Democratic Nominee "Better Be a White Male"

Michael Avenatti - Getty - H 2018
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"When you have a white male making the arguments, they carry more weight. Should they carry more weight? Absolutely not. But do they? Yes," the Stormy Daniels lawyer and potential presidential candidate said in an interview.

Michael Avenatti opened up about his plan for a 2020 presidential run during a new interview with Time magazine, published on Thursday. Avenatti — who rose to notoriety this year as the attorney of President Donald Trump's former alleged mistress, porn star Stormy Daniels — believes the Democratic candidate should be a white man.

"I think it better be a white male," Avanatti told the publication. "When you have a white male making the arguments, they carry more weight. Should they carry more weight? Absolutely not. But do they? Yes."

Though he hopes for a chance to replace Trump — whom he frequently criticizes on Twitter and on cable TV —  Avenatti admitted that his possible Democratic primary opponents might be better suited to take over the Oval Office. Still, he said, "If they can't beat Donald Trump, it doesn't matter." Avanetti also asserted that Democrats have "a lot of talent but not a lot of fighters." 

When speaking about his 2020 ambitions, he added, "I keep waiting to go to one of these events and to come away with a negative thought as to whether I should do this, [but every time] it puts me a little closer to actually doing it."

When reached by The Hollywood Reporter, Avenatti said he was misquoted and that the "better be a white male" comment was taken "completely out of context." In a tweet, he added, "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."

In a statement to THR, a spokesperson for Time said, "We stand by our reporting." The interview was published the same day Sen. Chuck Grassley recommended Avenatti be investigated by the Department of Justice for his previous statements about Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Avenatti represents Julie Swetnick, one of the multiple women who accused Kavanaugh of sexual assault prior to his confirmation to the Supreme Court. Both Avenatti and Swetnick opposed Kavanaugh's nomination in interviews and on social media. 

Avenatti's remarks also come just days after he gave an impassioned speech, aimed at the Democratic Party, about the 2020 election during a Politicon conference.

"If you want to fight for this republic, if you want to take this nation back, you're going to have to engage in a brutal campaign," he said on Oct. 20. "I'm not talking about violence, but I'm talking about the fact that we need somebody that goes toe-to-toe with [Trump]. We can't wait for him to elevate the discourse."

Added Avenatti: "There's only one way that these tweets and this behavior and this conduct and this misogyny is going to end, and it's only going to end if you displace Donald Trump from the presidency of the United States."

Back in August, Avenatti spoke to THR about the prospect of becoming the Democratic presidential candidate — and said that he had had a handful of "incredibly positive" meetings with Hollywood types over the course of a few weeks, including actors, actresses, entertainment company executives, agents and entertainment attorneys.

He told THR, "A number of people have stepped forward and said that they would do whatever I needed in the way of financial support, as well as introductions, hosting events, things of that nature."

Thursday, Oct. 25, 12:23 p.m. Updated with Time magazine's statement.