FLASHBACK: CNN Conspiracy Theorist Thought Michael Avenatti Would be Strong Presidential Contender

A CNN conspiracy theorist and alleged “news” anchor touted now-indicted attorney Michael Avenatti as a serious presidential contender for 2020 just months ago.

“I don’t know if it’s a good thing that star power and TV savvy is required for the job [of president], but I think it is,” Brian Stelter said.

Stelter hosts a CNN show unironically named “Reliable Sources,” which was responsible for spreading the RussiaGate conspiracy theory for nearly two years.

“And by the way, I think President Obama also had a lot of TV star power, and that helped him pre-Trump. But Trump is more evidence of this, and looking ahead to 2020, one reason I’m taking you seriously a contender is because of your presence on cable news.”

It’s worth noting that the only reason Avenatti ever had a “presence on cable news” is because he represented a client who was suing Trump, and the Trump-hating cable news invited him on nearly every day for a period of months. That suit eventually failed, as did Avenatti, who decided not to run for president in late 2018 in the midst of allegations of domestic abuse.

Avenatti was charged Monday with wire fraud for allegedly providing false income statements to a Mississippi bank in order to obtain a $4 million loan, and embezzlement of a client’s $1.6 million settlement. Separately he was charged with trying to extort Nike for $20 million.

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