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Avenatti calls Trump a 'Manchurian candidate' in front of the White House

Avenatti calls Trump a 'Manchurian candidate' in front of the White House
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Michael Avenatti, the lawyer who is representing adult-film star Stormy Daniels in her case against President TrumpDonald John TrumpDemocrats slide in battle for Senate Trump believes Kushner relationship with Saudi crown prince a liability: report Christine Blasey Ford to be honored by Palo Alto City Council MORE, decried the president as a "Manchurian candidate" during a speech outside the White House on Tuesday.

“Our troops didn't die in Yorktown, didn't take Normandy beach, didn't rebuild Europe and secure the postwar peace that you are now destroying, Mr. President, for you to live as a Manchurian candidate in our White House," Avenatti said during the speech, the text of which he posted on Twitter.

The lawyer spoke in front of a rally protesting Trump's controversial remarks during a joint press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday in Helsinki.

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Trump has faced bipartisan backlash for downplaying Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and siding with Putin's denial of the meddling over the assessment of the U.S. intelligence community.

During the press conference Monday, Trump also blamed special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE's investigation for souring relations between the U.S. and Russia.

Avenatti, a frequent Trump critic, told protesters outside the White House on Tuesday that the U.S. is "under attack."

"A foreign power — Russia — waged an operation to sow discord among our citizenry and interfere with our electoral system," Avenatti said. "It worked to openly put Donald Trump in the White House. And yesterday, one of the most disgraceful days in our history, Trump rewarded Russia by siding with it over his own people, especially the intelligence professionals who sacrifice so much to keep us safe."

"Today, we come to this park across from the White House to re-declare American independence."

Avenatti has been promoting the protest, which some dubbed #OccupyLafayettePark, since Monday. It is the second night of protests since Trump landed back in the U.S. after returning from his trip to Europe.

Hundreds of people gathered on Tuesday night with signs reading "liar in chief," "impeach Trump," "traitor" and more. 

Avenatti is helping Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, bring a defamation case against Trump and his longtime lawyer, Michael Cohen.

She is suing to formally void a nondisclosure agreement she signed over payments meant to keep her quiet about her alleged affair with Trump in 2006.

Daniels last week praised Avenatti's handling of her legal case.

"Every time I watch him work I think, 'This is what it must have been like to see the Sistine Chapel being painted,' " Daniels said in an interview. "But instead of paint, Michael uses the tears of his enemies."