A president who loves to counterpunch has, for some reason, stayed out of the ring.
Michael Avenatti, the pitbull lawyer representing the porn star alleged to have had an affair with President Donald Trump, is currently the hardest working man in show business—but it’s still unclear who exactly is paying for his frenetic services.
In particular, reporters were inquiring as to whether political opponents of the president—and not merely said porn star, Stormy Daniels, and sympathetic donors—were footing the bill.
Avenatti emphatically denied that any “political party or PAC” was “funding this effort.” And, as mostly happens these days, the news cycle moved on.
But the fact that he was only then being asked those questions exposed something totally out of place about the Trump-world scandal du jour.
For weeks, Avenatti has been a thorn in the president’s side. In seemingly endless and continuous string of cable news hits, he has called into question the veracity of Trump’s insistence that there was no affair with Daniels. He has pursued legal challenges to a nondisclosure agreement between Daniels and the president’s top fixer, Michael Cohen. He has vexed the president’s own legal team, getting them to haphazardly admit that Trump knew about hush money payments. And he has exposed a secretive network of finances that allowed Cohen to both pay off Daniels (and, potentially, other women) as well as recruit business for a shadow-lobbying operation during the Trump administration.
Avenatti has done it all with little, if any, coordinated pushback from the president or his allies.