- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 9, 2018

Michael Avenatti, the lawyer for adult film actress Stormy Daniels, arrived in Iowa Thursday and told the state’s largest newspaper that he’s serious about a bid for president.

“I’m exploring a run for the presidency of the United States, and I wanted to come to Iowa and listen to people and learn about some issues that are facing the citizens of Iowa and do my homework,” Mr. Avenatti told the Des Moines Register in an interview Thursday.

The paper said Mr. Avenatti is scheduled to speak at the Democratic Wing Ding fundraiser Friday night in Clear Lake, Iowa — an event regarded as a platform for presidential hopefuls. Also attending the event will be two declared presidential candidates — Rep. John Delaney of Maryland and entrepreneur Andrew Yang — as well as Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio.

“I would like to think people would take me seriously,” he said. “And I think, hopefully, the message that I deliver tomorrow night will be well received by Iowa Democrats.”

Mr. Avenatti also is scheduled to give the keynote address at the County Iowa Democratic Elected Officials Association later this month.

He told The Register that he’s not seeking to exploit Iowa’s first-in-the-nation caucus status for personal gain.

“I would never think to come to Iowa in order to use the state or the people of the state to raise my profile,” he said. “And obviously if I do this, then I intend to work hard and I know that ultimately the trust of the citizens of Iowa is going to have to be earned.”

Mr. Avenatti is suing President Trump on behalf of Ms. Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, who alleges a brief affair with Mr. Trump more than a decade ago.

He said wants to urge Democrats in Iowa to confront Mr. Trump’s policies directly.

“I think there’s a huge appetite within the party for a fighter,” he said. “I think the party has yearned for a fighter — a fighter for good, if you will — for a significant period of time. And for many, I’m probably seen as that individual.”

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