Michael Avenatti Ends 2020 Election Run, Slams Democratic Contenders: They Have 'No Real Chance' Against Trump

michael avenatti, 2020, run, election, trump
Michael Avenatti, attorney for Stephanie Clifford, also known as adult film actress Stormy Daniels, speaks to reporters as he leaves the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California on September 24, 2018, in Los Angeles, California. Avenatti on December, 4, 2018, announced he will not run for president in 2020. Mario Tama/Getty Images

In a surprising tweet Tuesday afternoon, Michael Avenatti ended suggestions he could make a 2020 presidential bid by stating his family had counseled him against it.

"After consultation with my family and at their request, I have decided not to seek the Presidency of the Untied States in 2020," Avenatti wrote in his statement. "I do not make this decision lightly—I make it out of respect for my family."

The lawyer added: "But for their concerns, I would run."

Avenatti stated he would continue to represent adult film star Stormy Daniels in her lawsuit against President Donald Trump over a nondisclosure agreement and $130,000 payment for her silence. Avenatti's representation of Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, is what elevated him to national attention.

Even in announcing he won't be part of the race, Avenatti slammed many of the proposed Democratic contenders.

"I remain concerned that the Democratic Party will move toward nominating an individual who might make an exceptional President but has no chance of actually beating Donald Trump," Avenatti stated. "The party must immediately recognize that many of the likely candidates are not battletested and have no real chance of winning. We will not prevail in 2020 without a fighter. I remain hopeful the party finds one."

The lawyer's statement came just a couple days after he told Politico he believed his arrest last month on suspicion of domestic violence did not spoil his chances of becoming a 2020 presidential candidate.

"I think the field is shaping up to be even more advantageous for someone like me, not less," Avenatti told the media outlet in a story published Sunday. "I think my chances have only gone up, not gone down."

Avenatti's dropout from the potential Democratic candidate pool comes as he deals with a rocky stretch after rising to fame as one of Trump's biggest and most effective critics.

The lawyer was arrested on November 14 after actress Mareli Miniuti brought allegations that he verbally and physically abused her. Avenatti denied the allegations and the Los Angeles district attorney's office did not press felony charges, but the lawyer may still face misdemeanor charges. It was just one of several areas that did not seem to be going Avenatti's way.

"Avenatti was polling at 1 percent. His handling of Julie Swetnick was a disaster," FiveThirtyEight editor-in-chief Nate Silver tweeted after Avenatti's announcement, with a reference to Swetnick, who was the third woman to accuse then-Supreme Court Justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct.

"He was recently charged with domestic violence," Silver continued. "He doesn't have Trump's instincts and Democrats don't have an appetite for a Trump-like candidate. He would have lost badly and embarrassed himself."

Avenatti quickly defended himself.

"Nate - this just goes to show you really don't know what you are talking about," the lawyer replied. "1) Trump polled at 0-3% until June of 2015 (polls rt now mean nothing); 2) I have not been charged with anything; 3) I have travelled to over 20 states in 4 mos - Dems want a fighter to beat Trump."

Avenatti in his statement vowed to continue with his nearly 20 years of "speaking truth to power" as a lawyer representing "those who need an advocate against the powerful," and said he "will not rest until Trump is removed from office."