HC Wake-Up Call: John Kerry Presidential Bid, Stormy Daniels Breaks from Michael Avenatti, & Trump Threatens Dems

Good morning Her Campus! With a break-neck news cycle, there is no possible way for you to stay on top of every story that comes across your feeds—we’re all only human, after all.

But, life comes at you fast. So grab a cup of coffee and settle in for this quick and dirty guide to stories you might’ve been sleeping on (like, literally. It’s early.)

John Kerry Considering 2020 Presidential Run

Former Secretary of State John Kerry isn't ruling out running for president in 2020. When asked about a possible bid on Tuesday at an event at Harvard's Institute of Politics, Kerry responded that he's "not taking anything off the table." 

"I've said I'm not going to eliminate, I'm not taking anything off the table," Kerry said. "But I'm not sitting around— I haven't been running around to the most obvious states, laying any groundwork or doing anything. Am I going to think about it? Yeah, I'm going to think about it, I've said that point blank."

According to CNN, Kerry would be joining "what is likely to be a large field of Democratic candidates vying to challenge President Donald Trump." Kerry added that he's not too confident in any other 2020 contenders right now. "I'm perfectly ready to embrace somebody that I think can win, or who wants to address all the issues that I just talked about and understands them," he said. "But I'm going to be very candid here, and some people who are thinking about it aren't going to love me for it, but I'm not -- I don't see the person yet that I'm prepared to say that about."

The 74-year-old ran for president in 2004 and secured the Democratic nomination, but eventually lost to President George W. Bush. Afterward, he served in the Senate before leaving in 2013 to serve as secretary of state in the Obama administration. 

Stormy Daniels Says Michael Avenatti Sued Trump Against Her Wishes

In a statement to the Daily Beast on Wednesday, Stormy Daniels accused her lawyer Michael Avenatti of suing Trump against her wishes, speaking on her behalf without her approval, and crowdfunding money without her knowledge. However, she said she hasn't "decided yet what to do about legal representation moving forward."

"For months I’ve asked Michael Avenatti to give me accounting information about the fund my supporters so generously donated to for my safety and legal defense. He has repeatedly ignored those requests," the statement began. "Days ago I demanded again, repeatedly, that he tell me how the money was being spent and how much was left. Instead of answering me, without my permission or even my knowledge Michael launched another crowdfunding campaign to raise money on my behalf. I learned about it on Twitter."

Daniels added that while she's "tremendously grateful" for Avenatti's representation in her fight to regain her voice, he hasn't treated her "with the respect and deference an attorney should show to a client." She cited the defamation case against Trump, him allegedly not telling her how her legal defense fund was being spent, and the new crowdfunding campaign. "I’m deeply grateful to my supporters and they deserve to know their money is being spent responsibly," she wrote. "I don’t want to hurt Michael, but it’s time to set the record straight. The truth has always been my greatest ally."

Avenatti responded with a statement of his own: "I am and have always been Stormy’s biggest champion. I have personally sacrificed an enormous amount of money, time and energy toward assisting her because I believe in her. I have always been an open book with Stormy as to all aspects of her cases and she knows that. The retention agreement Stormy signed back in February provided that she would pay me $100.00 and that any and all other monies raised via a legal fund would go toward my legal fees and costs. Instead, the vast majority of the money raised has gone toward her security expenses and similar other expenses. The most recent campaign was simply a refresh of the prior campaign, designed to help defray some of Stormy’s expenses."

Trump Threatens Democrats Over Potential Investigations

With a majority in the House of Representatives, Democrats could launch investigations with their own committees into a multitude of issues — from the president's finances to Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election — within the Trump administration. Trump addressed the possibility in an interview with The New York Post on Wednesday, which he called "presidential harassment." 

"If they go down the presidential harassment track, if they want go and harass the president and the administration, I think that would be the best thing that would happen to me," Trump said. "I’m a counter-puncher and I will hit them so hard they’d never been hit like that."

More specifically, Trump said he could declassify documents — though he didn't clarify anything specific — that would be "devastating" to Democrats. "They will see how devastating those pages are," he said. 

According to CNN, this isn't the first time Trump has made this threat. Back in September, he said he would declassify documents and texts related to the Russia investigation, though he later backed off. 

What to look for...

Christmas! Both the Rockefeller Christmas Tree in New York City and the National Christmas Tree in Washington, D.C. were lit on Wednesday night.