CNN host Brian Stelter called out Stormy Daniels’ attorney Michael Avenatti for using “Trumpian tactics” in his criticism of unfavorable media coverage, pointing specifically to a recent threat to sue Daily Caller News Foundation reporters for defamation.
The exchange took place as part of a larger discussion about a potential presidential bid for Avenatti.
“But I’m concerned sometimes you fall into some Trumpian tactics,” said Stelter. “For example, at one point earlier this year you threatened Daily Caller reporters with a defamation suit. How is that appropriate for anybody running for office?” (RELATED: Michael Avenatti Threatens To Sue Daily Caller News Foundation Reporters Personally)
“Well, if a journalist — quote/unquote — and look, I don’t believe the Daily Caller individuals are journalists by any stretch of the imagination …”
Stelter stopped Avenatti and accused the attorney of “trying to drive a wedge between real and fake journalists,” something the host believes Trump does.
“That’s very Trumpy. That’s very Trumpy, trying to drive a wedge between real and fake journalists,” Stelter said.
Avenatti countered by contending that he’s simply calling reporters out who “make things up.” (RELATED: With Avenatti In The Spotlight, His Own Questionable Past Emerges)
“Well, no, I disagree,” responded Avenatti. “I don’t think all journalists are created equal. 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 is 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 gonna call them out on it.”