- Michael Avenatti, the attorney representing the adult-film actress Stormy Daniels, traded verbal blows with the Fox News host Tucker Carlson during an interview on Thursday night.
- Carlson took jabs at Avenatti’s rumoured presidential run and scrutinised public statements Avenatti had made about Russia’s interference in the 2016 US presidential election.
- Fox News trolled Avenatti during the interview with the screen graphics known as chyrons. Those graphics labelled Avenatti a “CPL,” or “creepy porn lawyer.”
- Carlson pointed to Avenatti’s “thousand-dollar suit” and accused him of exploiting Daniels.
Michael Avenatti, the attorney representing the adult-film actress Stormy Daniels, traded verbal blows with the Fox News host Tucker Carlson during an interview on Thursday night.
The interview got off to a heated start. Shortly after he was introduced, Avenatti came out swinging.
“Tucker, I understood that I was coming on your show tonight to talk about the case involving my client,” Avenatti said after Carlson played a clip of a speech Avenatti had given on a potential presidential run in 2020.
“I didn’t tell you that, and I’m happy to talk about the case,” Carlson replied.
“Tucker, you got to stop interrupting me, OK?” Avenatti said. “Because one of the conditions of me coming on tonight was that you are not going to do what you do routinely to guests, which is to talk over them and interrupt them.”
Avenatti makes regular appearances on CNN to discuss his client’s case and peripheral matters concerning President Donald Trump, but he is rarely seen on Fox News. Last month, he cajoled the Fox News personality Sean Hannity to invite him on his show.
Carlson took jabs at Avenatti’s rumoured presidential run by scrutinizing public statements Avenatti had made about Russia’s interference in the 2016 US presidential election. Avenatti has criticised Trump’s foreign-policy decisions and has suggested Trump was “choosing Russia over the hardworking men and women of the intelligence community that risk their lives for this country.”
“You’re using reckless rhetoric on a subject you don’t really understand that increases the temperature between the United States and a nuclear-armed adversary,” Carlson said. “Is that a responsible thing to do?”
“I think under the circumstances I stand by my words,” Avenatti said. “And I think for you to lecture me about reckless rhetoric is ironic.”
Carlson continued to press Avenatti on his fledgling political aspirations, but the attorney sought a different direction for the interview.
“Let me ask you a question: Why is it that you don’t call Donald Trump the ‘creepy porn president’?” Avenatti asked, apparently referring to the Fox News on-screen graphic, known as a chyron, that said “CREEPY PORN LAWYER TOYING WITH 2020 RUN.”
“He’s the one that had sex with a 4-month-old son at home with my client, without a condom,” Avenatti added, “but you don’t want to acknowledge that.”
Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, was paid $US130,000 to sign a nondisclosure agreement with Michael Cohen, then Trump’s personal attorney, to keep quiet about her claims of having an affair with Trump in 2006, shortly after the birth of his son Barron. Trump has denied having the affair. Earlier this month, Essential Consultants, a shell company set up by Cohen, agreed to cancel the nondisclosure agreement.
Carlson, who said he believed that Trump had the affair, accused Avenatti of exploiting Daniels’ case. Taking another personal shot at Avenatti, Carlson accused Avenatti of wearing a “thousand-dollar suit” even as his client continued to work at what Carlson called “seedy strip clubs.”
“This is America,” Avenatti rebutted. “And guess what? If a woman wants to perform in a strip club, she does so, even though people like you demean her.”
“When’s the last time you saw porn?” Avenatti asked.
“You busted me. Actually, maybe humiliation porn,” Carlson quipped. “That’s why I watch you on CNN.”
Tucker had one more jab before he ended the interview and cut to commercial break: “Creepy porn lawyer, great to see you.”
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