President Donald Trump on Wednesday blasted Michael Avenatti as a “third rate lawyer” who is making “false accusations” and a “total low-life” after the attorney revealed new sexual misconduct allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
“Avenatti is a third rate lawyer who is good at making false accusations, like he did on me and like he is now doing on Judge Brett Kavanaugh,” Trump tweeted.
The president accused the attorney of simply “looking for attention” and insisted he is trying to deter people from looking into “his past record and relationships.”
“A total low-life!” Trump tweeted.
Avenatti’s client, Julie Swetnick, accused Kavanaugh of spiking drinks in order to take advantage of girls and said Kavanaugh was present during her “gang rape” at a high school party in the 1980s.
Kavanaugh denied the allegations, calling them “ridiculous and from the Twilight Zone,” and said he does not know who Swetnick is.
Avenatti responded to Trump’s comments on Twitter minutes later.
” ‘False accusations?’ Like those crimes your fixer Cohen pled to?” the lawyer wrote, referring to Trump’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen.
“You are an habitual liar and complete narcissist who also is a disgrace as a president and an embarrassment to our nation. You are so inept that your ‘best and brightest’ are Cohen and [Rudy] Giuliani. Let’s go.”
Trump has previously avoided directly mentioning Avenatti, who also represents adult-film actress Stormy Daniels in her lawsuits against the president, and Wednesday’s tweet is believed to be the first time the president has specifically criticized the lawyer on Twitter.
The president’s decision to take on Avenatti, rather than Swetnick, is the latest sign that he views the accusations against Kavanaugh as a personal attack on himself.
Trump is scheduled to hold a news conference on Wednesday afternoon, a decision he reportedly made to ramp up the defense of Kavanaugh ahead of a high-stakes hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee where the judge and one of his accusers will testify Thursday.
The allegations from three women have threatened to derail Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the high court, a possibility that would deliver a major blow to Trump and Republicans heading into the midterm elections.
Some in the White House were dissatisfied with Kavanaugh’s performance during a Fox News interview in which he asserted his innocence. CNN reported Wednesday that Trump has taken on the view that he must personally take charge of defending Kavanaugh from the allegations.