CNN’s Brian Stelter Presses Avenatti on Some of His ‘Trumpian Tactics’


CNN’s Brian Stelter prefaced his Michael Avenatti interview this morning with a prediction that future presidents, like Donald Trump, will be TV stars of some sort, even if it’s just a lawmaker “who knows how to create a TV moment.”

And certainly Avenatti knows how to create those moments, as his recent interview with Tucker Carlson demonstrated.

But after they talked about the interview and Avenatti’s 2020 ambitions, Stelter told him, “I’m concerned sometimes you fall into some Trumpian tactics.”

He brought up Avenatti threatening a defamation lawsuit against Daily Caller reporters and asked, “How is that appropriate for anybody thinking about running for office?”

Avenatti said he doesn’t believe “the Daily Caller’s individuals are journalists by any stretch of the imagination.”

“That’s very Trumpy,” Stelter said. “That’s very Trumpy––trying to drive a wedge between real and fake journalists.”

“I disagree. I don’t think all journalists are created equal,” Avenatti said. “I don’t believe many journalists adhere to the same standards as you and others for instance at CNN or The New York Times or The Washington Post. Just like all attorneys are not ethical, all journalists do not adhere to the requisite standards of journalism. A lot of people have written a lot of negative things about me and they’ll continue to do so, and I don’t have a problem with that. That’s what this nation’s all about. But when people engage in tactics that do not meet basic journalistic standards and make things up, from time to time, I’m going to call them out on it.”

Stelter also brought up a recent Twitter issue Avenatti had with former Obama speechwriter Jon Favreau:

Stelter asked, “If you want to be a fighter, why would you go blocking folks on Twitter?”

Avenatti said Favreau isn’t blocked now, but said, “I’m a private citizen. If people come on my Twitter feed and they attack me for no reason or they engage in profanity or hurl insults at me, I have the ability to block them from my feed.”

Watch above, via CNN.

[image via screengrab]

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Josh Feldman is a Senior Editor at Mediaite. Email him here: Follow him on Twitter: @feldmaniac