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Michael Avenatti announces he will not run for president

Michael Avenatti speaks out after arrest

Michael Avenatti, Stormy Daniels' lawyer and fiery cable news commentator, announced on Twitter he will not run for president in 2020. Avenatti rose to fame this year representing porn actress Stormy Daniels, who alleged in her unsuccessful defamation suit against the president that she had an affair with President Trump a decade ago. Avenatti capitalized on his newfound political currency by representing migrant families separated at the border and also a woman who accused Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct.

Avenatti, who is known for his broadsides against Mr. Trump on Twitter and cable news, had considered a presidential bid in recent months, even visiting early primary states like Iowa and New Hampshire. He told the Des Moines Register in August he was "exploring a run" for president. In October, Avenatti faced criticism when Time Magazine quoted him as having said the Democratic nominee for president "better be a white male."

He said on Twitter he decided not to run for president "after consultation with my family and at their request," adding "but for their concerns I would run."

"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," Avenatti said. "We will not prevail in 2020 without a fighter."

Avenatti had previously argued he was qualified to challenge Mr. Trump because of his similarities to the president. As he said in one interview in September on CNN, he is a "real fighter," and he noted people who see him on TV think he's "just like Trump but on the Democratic side."

Avenatti was arrested on suspicion of domestic assault in November. He has denied the allegations.

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