The attorney for Stormy Daniels announced Thursday that he will speak next month at an annual Democratic dinner in northern Iowa and said he will attend party fundraisers in multiple states, stoking speculation about his presidential ambitions.
Michael Avenatti, who rose to prominence this year amid the legal fight between adult-film actress Daniels and President Trump, said on Twitter that he will be a speaker at the Iowa Democratic Wing Ding on Aug. 10 in Clear Lake, Iowa. The dinner is known for attracting White House candidates and those contemplating bids to a state that is considered one of the most important presidential proving grounds. Previous speakers include then-candidates Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.
“I look forward to speaking at the Iowa State Democratic Wing Ding next month. Extremely honored to be included as one of the speakers. It promises to be a great event as always!” Avenatti tweeted.
Reached by phone, Avenatti said he has been invited to speak at a “number of Democratic fundraisers” and plans to attend events in Iowa, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Michigan. He said he has been asked to stump for Democratic candidates in the midterm elections but would not say which ones.
He said he has not decided whether to formally launch a 2020 presidential bid.
“If Mr. Trump is the opponent, and I still have serious questions as to whether he will be, the Democratic Party better be very careful in who they nominate to compete against him,” Avenatti said. “The number one question that needs to be asked is: Can the candidate beat Donald Trump? Because you can have all the political experience in the world and the greatest policy ideas of the last 100 years, and if you can’t beat Donald Trump, it doesn’t mean anything.”
Avenatti said on Twitter this month that he will run for president if Trump seeks reelection and if “there is no other candidate in the race that has a REAL chance at beating him.”
“We can’t relive 2016,” Avenatti wrote July 4. “I love this country, our values and our people too much to sit by while they are destroyed.”
Avenatti is representing Daniels, also known as Stephanie Clifford, in her lawsuit to void a nondisclosure agreement she signed in 2016 that prevented her from speaking about an alleged affair with Trump in exchange for $130,000. Daniels argues that the nondisclosure agreement is invalid because Trump, who denies the alleged affair, never signed it.
The sprawling legal battle has made Avenatti a kind of celebrity on Twitter and cable news. He will speak alongside Rep. John Delaney (D-Md.), who last year launched a campaign for president, and Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio), who is seen as testing the waters for a possible White House bid.