Avenatti discusses policy views as he weighs 2020 bid


Associated Press

WASHINGTON

Michael Avenatti, the attorney taking on President Donald Trump on behalf of adult film star Stormy Daniels, offered some details on his policy views Tuesday as he weighs an outsider Democratic bid for the White House.

Fresh off a visit to early-voting Iowa, Avenatti said he would release more information over time, but said “people want to know how I stand on the issues at 20,000 feet.”

In a new policy document, Avenatti said he supports a “basic Medicare plan for all Americans,” with an option to purchase additional coverage, and backed a path to citizenship for the young immigrants known as “Dreamers.” He also wants to see a national paid family-leave program.

Marijuana should be decriminalized at the federal level, so-called assault weapons should be banned and the United States should re-join the Paris climate accord, according to Avenatti.

Those positions generally align Avenatti with the left flank of potential 2020 Democratic presidential prospects, but he is more moderate on some of the issues. On the federal government’s chief immigration enforcement agency, Avenatti said: “We should not eliminate ICE but we must change the way ICE carries out enforcement.”

Some Democrats have gone further. Sen. Kristen Gillibrand told CNN recently that “You should get rid of it, start over, reimagine it and build something that actually works.” And Sen. Kamala Harris of California has said the government “maybe” or “probably” should “start from scratch” on an immigration-enforcement agency.

Avenatti is a self-styled provocateur who has gained national attention for representing Daniels in her lawsuit against Trump following an alleged 2006 affair, which the president denies.

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