Michael Avenatti, the attorney most noted for representing porn actress Stormy Daniels against the president, was reportedly plowing ahead with plans to explore a possible 2020 run for president. The reports came amid the ongoing backlash from his recent racially offensive remarks.
The high-profile lawyer said Sunday that he’s working with a team of 12 core political advisers, Politico reported.
As one of President Donald Trump’s most tenacious foes, Avenatti was highly regarded among African-Americans. That suddenly changed on Thursday when TIME published a story quoting Avenatti insisting that he didn’t want a Black person to run for president. The Democratic nominee had “better be a white male,” he declared.
It was an affront to all the highly qualified Black political leaders—many of them on full display in the 2018 midterm elections—and African-Americans in general.
He whitesplained that his remarks were taken out of context and then went full steam ahead with his political ambitions, all without missing a stride.
“I think a lot of people underestimate me. I’m battle-tested, unlike some of the other likely candidates. They’re not tough enough. … If you put them in a kinder, gentler time; or against someone else? They’d be great. They’d be better than me. But they don’t have a chance in hell against Donald Trump,” he stated.
Avenatti faces another possible setback. On Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee referred Avenatti and his client Julie Swetnick to the Justice Department for an investigation over her accusations against judge Brett Kavanaugh during his Supreme Court confirmation hearing.
Avenatti was expected to announce a formal decision on whether he’s running by Jan. 1.