Published: Sat, May 12, 2018
Finance | By Jaime Brady

AT&T chief says hiring Cohen was 'a big mistake'

AT&T chief says hiring Cohen was 'a big mistake'

Last year, AT&T spent almost $17 million on federal lobbying, the third highest among companies.

"In this instance", he continued, "our Washington, D.C., team's vetting process clearly failed, and I take responsibility for that".

The Washington Post reported this week that Cohen received $600,000 to consult for AT&T about the merger, among other issues.

Time Warner was not aware of AT&T's contract with Cohen, according to a person familiar with the company's thinking.

"What's unfortunate is the company and the individual who was retained because Michael Cohen is in trouble", Cohen said.

Quinn's predecessor, Jim Cicconi, was among a handful of Republicans backing Democrat Hillary Clinton for president.

Not really, said Craig Holman of Public Citizen, a nonprofit watchdog group.

AT&T's head lobbyist, Bob Quinn, who oversaw the hiring of Cohen, is retiring, according to the memo.

"There is certainly plenty AT&T would like to get out of the Trump administration", noted the far-left media outlet Vox, adding that AT&T is now attempting to get a $85 billion merger with Time Warner approved through the Trump administration.

Giuliani, a former mayor of New York City who lately joined Trump's individual legal group, stated he represents Trump, maybe not Cohen, but still believes Cohen did nearly nothing wrong, HuffPost reported. The company also donated more than $2 million to the committee organizing Trump's inauguration. "Novartis paid Mr. Cohen hundreds of thousands dollars more than it paid its big-shot lobbyists in Washington".

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President Donald Trump's lawyer Rudolph Giuliani said Friday that he would not debate the attorney representing porn star Stephanie Clifford, better known as Stormy Daniels, because he doesn't keep company with "pimps". Under the one-year contract, the company has said, Cohen was hired to provide "insights into understanding the new administration".

"Hey Rudy - it turns out I'm not the only "pimp" you have experience with", Avenatti posted on Twitter with a widely circulated 2000 skit video of Giuliani dressed in drag and receiving a kiss on the cheek from Trump.

Essential Consultants was the same company Cohen used in October 2016 to route money to Daniels in exchange for her agreement not to disclose an alleged affair with Trump.

At the same time that he was collecting $50,000 a month from AT&T, Cohen was being paid large sums to advise other companies on a broad variety of issues, including the Affordable Care Act, accounting practices, and real estate.

"Our company has been in the headlines for all the wrong reasons these last few days and our reputation has been damaged", Stephenson said in a memo to employees.

Shares in AT&T briefly fell on Wednesday to their lowest point since August 2015. So when he took office, there were concerns within AT&T and Time Warner that he or his aides would try to block the deal.

AT&T also provided new information about how the arrangement came about. He doesn't think the company will lose a step. "They're paying a price, but they're doing the right thing".

The president was considering sidelining him from television interviews, the report said. He said that the suddenness of Quinn's departure might require a short period of adjustment, but that wouldn't have a lasting impact.

Cohen's work for AT&T did not appear to meet that definition, Noble said.

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