Michael Avenatti blew off a scheduled appearance on CNN this morning. Did Stormy Daniels’ lawyer know he was going to be subjected to some unexpectedly pointed questioning?
Yesterday, Avenatti released documents suggesting that the company Michael Cohen created and which was used to pay Daniels $130,000 received $500,000 from a company controlled by a Russian oligarch. The Cohen company also apparently received money from other companies, including Novartis and AT&T.
Avenatti has painted the transactions in the worst possible light for Cohen/Trump, saying “this thing is a pig and they can try to put lipstick on a pig — tonight, next week, next month — but it’s still gonna be a pig . . . this thing’s ugly and it’s gonna get worse.” But Cuomo and Camerota were surprisingly skeptical about Avenatti’s claims. Said Cuomo at one point:
“there’s a lot of smoke about what Avenatti put out. And he’s got a lot of explaining to do.”
Camerota also expressed serious doubts about Avenatti’s scenario, saying among other things:
“Aren’t we just connecting too many dots here? . . . Why are we connecting a Russian oligarch with Stormy Daniels? [Cohen] didn’t need a Russian oligarch’s money to pay off Stormy Daniels.”
Note: here’s how Cuomo announced Avenatti’s last-minute cancellation: “Michael Avenatti was supposed to be on the show today. He isn’t. There are big questions for him.”
Note segundo: whereas Avenatti canceled his CNN appearance on short notice, he appeared as scheduled today on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, where he was treated with relative kid gloves, no skeptical questions being posed.