AT&T CEO: We made 'big mistake' hiring Cohen, chief lobbyist out

AT&T CEO: We made 'big mistake' hiring Cohen, chief lobbyist out

Mr. Cohen also reached out to Ford Motor Co., but the auto maker turned him down, according to people familiar with the matter.

In that episode Trump said Giuliani would "get his facts straight". "When it first came out, he was surprised", Giuliani said.

The Dallas-based telecom giant spent more than $350 million on advocacy in the past 20 years - including almost $17 million last year alone.

It's unrealistic to think Judge Richard Leon would have ruled in favor of AT&T but would now change his mind after hearing about the Cohen deal, he says.

Giuliani also told HuffPost that the President "had no knowledge" that Cohen received hundreds of thousands of dollars from companies including AT&T, Novartis, and an investment bank associated with a Russian oligarch.

Stephenson also said in the memo that the company's head of lobbying and external affairs, Bob Quinn, 57, would be retiring.

Federal prosecutors in Manhattan are investigating Mr. Cohen to determine whether he violated any laws in his efforts to raise cash and hide negative information about Mr. Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign, according to people familiar with the matter.

An attorney for Cohen did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

"Experiences about Michael Cohen's dealings with Novartis look extra like a company shakedown than an trustworthy enterprise association", Wyden mentioned. Under the one-year contract, the company has said, Cohen was hired to provide "insights into understanding the new administration".

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"We're not going to interfere with that here", she said. So AT&T's chief executive Randall Stephenson said in an internal message to company employees on Friday that hiring Cohen was a big mistake, acknowledged that it's damaged AT&T's reputation.

AT&T paid Essential Consultants LLC, a firm set up by Cohen, a total of US$600,000 past year for advice on working with the Trump administration. Mr. Trump has denied the sexual encounter.

When AT&T swung its deal with Cohen, the merger was very much an issue in Washington.

"And Patton Boggs has a long history of lobbying and being involved between companies and the USA government, that's a very unusual relationship to have been formed right after the election", Avenatti said.

Indeed, in addition to the scandal surrounding Cohen, the Trump administration has often had the look of a feeding frenzy, with Trump and those around him facing frequent accusations of attempting to profit from his presidency. Last year, AT&T spent almost $17 million on federal lobbying, the third highest among companies.

Trump has always been a vocal opponent of the AT&T-Time Warner merger, apparently in part because of his antipathy for Time Warner-owned CNN, which he has labeled "fake news" for its negative coverage of him.

President Trump expressed opposition to the merger with Time Warner during the campaign and his administration ultimately chose to fight it, with the Justice Department filing suit in November to block the agreement.

Stephenson said Quinn plans to retire, but people familiar with the matter told the Journal that the policy chief was forced to leave.

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