Stormy Daniels' lawyer Michael Avenatti teases that 2 more women might have been paid hush money by Trump
Attorney Michael Avenatti, who is representing adult film star Stormy Daniels in a lawsuit against President Trump, told Morning Joe's Mika Brzezinski on Thursday that at least two other women have credibly told him they signed hush agreements with Trump. Avenatti, who is still in the process of vetting the women, said: "There's at least two I think that are on solid ground and as the evidence rolls out over the coming months, disclosures are going to be made that my client was not alone as it relates to these [hush] payments."
Brzezinski asked if the women claim they "had affairs or sex with Donald Trump," to which Avenatti answered in the affirmative. Avenatti also confirmed that the payments to the women exceeded the $130,000 paid to Daniels.
While Avenatti was hesitant to be more forthcoming about the details, he answered "yes" when Brzezinski clarified that the women are "on solid ground to match the Stormy Daniels line of payment — money from Trump to Michael Cohen to them, for their silence." Avenatti also said he was vetting other women in addition to the two he believes could be credible, and that there could be even more unexpected disclosures in the future. Watch at MSNBC, beginning at the five-minute mark. Jeva Lange
Donald Trump enters the final five weeks before Election Day facing allegations that he used legal loopholes to avoid paying up to 18 years of income taxes. That's according to what appear to be three pages of his highly-sought tax returns, published over the weekend in The New York Times.
Hillary Clinton's campaign has seized on the opening, slamming Trump's reputation for being a brilliant businessman by highlighting his loss of nearly a billion dollars in a single year:
Three pages of Trump's tax returns confirm he's a business failure who's gotten rich at your expense. Imagine what he’s hiding in the rest. pic.twitter.com/E3Wt3KRleN
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) October 3, 2016
Trump's campaign has stated its candidate paid hundreds of millions in other taxes, like sales and real estate, and his surrogates insist the move shows his "genius." But the revelation follows a weak presidential debate by Trump as Clinton leads in election projections. "We are getting into the homestretch of this horserace to the glue factory of American Exceptionalism," Politico's Glenn Thrush wrote Monday, "and the events of the next week to 10 days will likely be Trump's final shot at repairing his damaged candidacy." Jeva Lange
The Senate is moving closer to voting on a "clean" Homeland Security Department funding bill, stripped of a provision in the House Republican version that would neuter President Obama's immigration program. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's plan is to hold two votes, one on DHS funding and another on a separate bill to counter Obama's executive orders, but it faces "an uncertain future in the House, where Republican leaders conspicuously refused to embrace it," report David Nakamura and Sean Sullivan in The Washington Post.
"I don't know what's not to like about this," McConnell said Tuesday. "This is an approach that respects both points of view." House Republicans are meeting on Wednesday morning, after a weeklong break, to discuss what's wrong with McConnell's plan. DHS funding runs out on Friday. Peter Weber
After the Senate failed to pass a Homeland Security Department funding bill on Monday night, amid Democratic opposition, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell signaled a change in tactic. His new plan, he said late Monday, is to have the Senate vote on a separate bill that would block President Obama's immigration plan, allowing a "clean" DHS bill to pass the Senate while allowing Republicans to still vote on the immigration measure. It's unclear if House Republicans — who passed a DHS bill with the immigration language attached — will go along with the plan. The Homeland Security Department runs out of money in four days. Peter Weber