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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Reprinted with permission from AlterNet.

 

After appearing in court Friday, Michael Avenatti held a press conference to denounce President Donald Trump and his former lawyer Michael Cohen as after Cohen’s attorney pushed for a judge to issue a gag order against him.

“Americans deserve to know the truth about their elected leaders,” Avenatti told reporters. “What they knew, when they knew it, and how they covered it up. And what you witnessed today was a continued effort by the president of the United States and Michael Cohen to silence me and to prevent the truth from being exposed.”

Avenatti represents Stephanie Clifford, better known as Stormy Daniels, in her lawsuit against Trump and Cohen related to a hush money agreement she signed to keep quiet about an affair she says she had with the president. In a separate but potentially related matter, Cohen is under investigation by the Southern District of New York, which is also separate though potentially related to special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia to influence the 2016 election.

“This is a search for the truth,” Avenatti said. “We are not going to be intimidated, and we are not going to be silenced. My client is not going to be silenced. Period.”

Cohen and his lawyer pushed for the gag order against Avenatti, who has been become ubiquitous in media appearances and political punditry circles since his case gained mainstream coverage. He has focused on the president and his associates’ alleged misdeeds, even when there’s apparently limited relevance to his particular case.

Asked about whether the SDNY investigation of Cohen concerns the payment to his client, Avenatti said he believes the hush money is not the focus. Rather, he believes investigators are focused on “a whole host of additional conduct, likely criminal conduct, by Michael Cohen with the cooperation of the president of the United States.”

Avenatti also said that he has had discussions with Cohen’s team about whether the president’s former attorney might settle the cases involving him were Cohen to “come clean” about what he has done with Trump.

“As of last Sunday, it became clear to me that Michael Cohen was attempting to play a game,” he said. “And I made it clear that we were not going to be a part of that game.”

Watch the press conference below:

Cody Fenwick is a reporter and editor. Follow him on Twitter @codytfenwick.

Actor as Donald Trump in Russia Today video ad

Screenshot from RT's 'Trump is here to make RT Great Again'

Russia Today, the network known in this country as RT, has produced a new "deep fake" video that portrays Donald Trump in post-presidential mode as an anchor for the Kremlin outlet. Using snippets of Trump's own voice and an actor in an outlandish blond wig, the ad suggests broadly that the US president is indeed a wholly owned puppet of Vladimir Putin– as he has so often given us reason to suspect.

"They're very nice. I make a lot of money with them," says the actor in Trump's own voice. "They pay me millions and hundreds of millions."

But when American journalists described the video as "disturbing," RT retorted that their aim wasn't to mock Trump, but his critics and every American who objects to the Russian manipulations that helped bring him to power.

As an ad for RT the video is amusing, but the network's description of it is just another lie. Putin's propagandists are again trolling Trump and America, as they've done many times over the past few years –- and this should be taken as a warning of what they're doing as Election Day approaches.

The Lincoln Project aptly observed that the Russians "said the quiet part out loud" this time, (Which is a bad habit they share with Trump.)