NBC News' Chuck Todd expressed dismay Thursday night that Stormy Daniels' lawyer Michael Avenatti, who's currently teasing a run for president as a Democrat in 2020, appears to have deliberately misled NBC reporters in order to smear Brett Kavanaugh.
On Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee referred Avenatti and his client Julie Swetnick to the Justice Department for criminal investigation for "providing false statements, obstructing congressional investigations, and conspiracy" regarding her allegations against then-Supreme Court nonimee Brett Kavanaugh. Soon after the committee announced the move, NBC published a damning report containing evidence that Avenatti may have manipulated the testimony of a woman he presented to the Senate Judiciary Committee as a corroborating witness to the salacious claims of his client Julie Swetnick:
In the second [sworn statement sent to the Senate Judiciary Committee], the unidentified woman said she witnessed Kavanaugh "spike" the punch at high school parties in order to sexually take advantage of girls. But less than 48 hours before Avenatti released her sworn statement on Twitter, the same woman told NBC News a different story.
Referring to Kavanaugh spiking the punch, "I didn't ever think it was Brett," the woman said to reporters in a phone interview arranged by Avenatti on Sept. 30 after repeated requests to speak with other witnesses who might corroborate Swetnick's claims. As soon as the call began, the woman said she never met Swetnick in high school and never saw her at parties and had only become friends with her when they were both in their 30s.
When asked in the phone interview if she ever witnessed Kavanaugh act inappropriately towards girls, the woman replied, "no." She did describe a culture of heavy drinking in high school that she took part in, and said Kavanaugh and his friend Mark Judge were part of that group.
NBC reveals details about the conversations reporters had with the unnamed witness, who repeatedly flatly contradicted Avenatti's portrayal of her comments, finally telling NBC on October 5 — one day before Kavanaugh's confirmation — "I will definitely talk to you again and no longer Avenatti. I do not like that he twisted my words."
In response, Todd asked the internet: "Was this an intentional attempt to mislead our reporters?"
As Twitchy points out, Todd certainly got some answers, though many of them his network probably won't appreciate. First to answer was none other than Avenatti himself, who played the go-to "blame the victim" card.
"Chuck - why do you continue to attack accusers?" he wrote. "You would think that after what just happened to your colleague, you would stop protecting abusers. You are an example of why women don’t come forward - because men like you attack and shame them. Pls learn about sexual abuse."
Others had some hard news for NBC about the current state of its journalistic practices: