Potential 2020 Democratic presidential nominee Michael Avenatti said Monday he would announce whether he will run for president by March of next year.
Avenatti, who represents adult-film actress Stormy Daniels, discussed his possible presidential aspirations on MSNBC’s "The Beat with Ari Melber."
"When will you make the decision?" host Ari Melber asked.
"I don't know yet; I’m going to make it in the coming months," Avenatti responded.
Melber pressed for a more exact timeline. "Hillary Clinton had publicly declared by April 2015, which for us would be the equivalent of the April after the midterms and she’d made a lot of moves before then. Will you decide by January, by the start of the New Year?" Melber asked.
Avenatti initially responded that he would decide by April, but he then said "well before April."
"By March?" Melber asked.
"Yes, sure. I’ll give you March," Avenatti said.
Avenatti made it clear he is serious about exploring a run for the presidency. "Look, I want to be really clear about something, this is not a TV tease. This is for real. I’m strongly looking at this. That’s why I’m traveling around the country. I’m listening to people," he said.
"And look, people have been very enthusiastic, because they want a fighter," Avenatti added. "The Democrats need a fighter, and they better nominate somebody that can actually beat this guy because we have an enormous amount at stake in 2020. We cannot screw this up."
Avenatti is representing Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, in her ongoing legal dispute with President Donald Trump. Daniels claims she had an affair with Trump in 2006 while he was married to Melania Trump. Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen, set up a shell company to pay Daniels $130,000 in return for her signing a non-disclosure agreement in October 2016. Daniels is suing the president to be released of the agreement. Trump has denied any affair took place.
A Quinnipiac poll from April showed that 73 percent of voters said the affair was not an "important issue." Almost 60 percent said it was unimportant whether Trump knew about Cohen’s payment to Daniels in 2016.
Avenatti has spoken in recent months about a possible presidential campaign. In July, he tweeted he would run if he did not think any other candidate in the race could beat Trump.