The president has time and again created nicknames for his political rivals, employing them mostly on Twitter to annoy and badger. Think "Leakin' James Comey" or "Crooked Hillary." Now, though, Stormy Daniels' Lawyer Michael Avenatti's Trump nickname is a taste of the president's own medicine. Avenatti proposed two options in a Twitter poll, and the vast majority of the nearly 74,000 votes were for "Don the Con."
On Friday, Avenatti wrote, "Donald Trump has been giving nicknames for years. Let’s see if he can take one. Which of these should we use going forward?" The other option he proposed was "Con Man Trump," which didn't even come close in the voting. When polling closed, 85 percent had gone for the winner.
Avenatti followed up the tweet with a response announcing which had won. "Nearly 75,000 votes are in and #DonTheCon is the clear winner," the lawyer wrote Saturday. "I reserve the right to use variations of the nickname... #FightClub #Basta."
Trump gained an enemy in Avenatti when the lawyer started representing adult film star and director Stormy Daniels in her attempt to get out from the non-disclosure agreement that she signed with Trump's lawyer Michael Cohen. Representing Trump, Cohen paid her $130,000 to keep quiet about an alleged affair with the president. Trump denies there was one.
Since the nickname was decided, Avenatti has already used it online a few times. "Don the Con's Motto - 'Tell people one thing and do another,' Avenatti wrote when quote tweeting an article about how Mar-a-Lago has tried to hire foreign workers for the coming season, even though publicly Trump rails against immigrants.
He then mentioned what's going on with North Korea disarmament, quote tweeting an article about how the North Koreans don't see ongoing talks as successful, despite the rosy coloring from Trump officials.
"#DonTheCon strikes again," Avenatti wrote. "Instead of actually accomplishing something back in June, he was more interested in the 'show' and photo-ops. He should have rolled-up his sleeves, done some real work, and stayed until a real agreement was hammered out."
Avenatti has also tried to preempt Trump coming up with a nickname in retaliation. "We all know that it is only a matter of time before Don the Con comes up with a ridiculous nickname for me," Avenatti wrote Saturday. "And we also know that he is very busy on the golf course. So let's save him some time and predict his nickname for me."
This poll remains open. The options are "Baldy," "Slick Mikey," "Porno Mikey," and "CNN Mikey." Voting is open until Sunday evening and there is currently no clear winner.
If Avenatti didn't self-assign a nickname, there's no telling that Trump would necessarily go there. He's stayed largely quiet about Daniels in an unusual way. The president hasn't attacked Avenatti on Twitter or even mentioned him once.
Ari Fleischer, George W. Bush’s former press secretary, explained why he thinks Trump is refraining from firing back. "It’s a sideshow,” Fleischer said on Fox News. “And the fact that [the Cohen-Stormy case] is being investigated in the Southern District of New York and not by [special counsel Robert] Mueller underscores that it is a sideshow.”
“I can see why the Trump White House wants to concentrate its fire where the fire matters most,” Fleischer continued. “And that’s with Mueller.”
Whatever the reason that Trump is holding back, it's clear that Avenatti will keep pushing and pushing until he finally gets Trump to acknowledge the lawyer's legal arguments and Twitter punches.
This new "Don the Con" nickname uses Trump's own tactics to get under the president's skin.