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Based AT&T calls hiring of Michael Cohen a "big mistake"

12 May, 2018, 23:00 | Author: Kristi Dunn
  • Enron execs — they thought they were the smartest people alive. Until they went down.   PBS

On Jan. 12, 2017, Cohen and AT&T's chief executive, Randall Stephenson, were both seen visiting Trump Tower in NY, days before the contract with Essential Consultants was signed. The lawmaker asked for similar information from Cohen.

Giuliani made the comment as part of a larger point that Trump was evidently not moved on the issue by Michael Cohen.

"So the devil is in the details", Rosenstein said. Sanders claimed the payments actually show that the president isn't beholden to special interests. The companies all acknowledged the payments. In a June 2016 statement he said "it's vital to put our country's well-being ahead of party", called Clinton qualified, and said "the alternative, I fear, would set our nation on a very dark path". "It strikes me as exceedingly brazen", said Holman.

And he described Avenatti as an attorney who is "pimping for money".

Vernon Jordan served in a fixer role for former President Bill Clinton.

"Whatever lobbying was done didn't reach the president".

This would not be the first time Giuliani has appeared to contradict the White House, posing a challenge for the White House communications staff.

Cohen wasn't registered as one.

The e-mail comes after revelations that AT&T agreed to pay $600,000 to Cohen previous year in exchange for advice on how to approach the Trump administration.

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But, Stephenson added, AT&T's Washington team failed to fully vet Cohen before hiring him, and for that Stephenson takes responsibility. Novartis had earlier said that it realized Cohen could not offer any real expertise on health care, but that it felt obligated to continue paying his $100,000 a month fee under the contract they had signed until it expired earlier this year.

However, Giuliani said he believes Cohen does not deserve the criticism he is taking from some in the media and in political circles. But there were persistent questions about possible political interference, especially in light of the president's well-publicized disdain for both CNN and attorney general Jeff Sessions.

"We believe, and our investigation has found, the merger would harm competition, resulting in higher bills and less innovation for millions of American consumers", a Department of Justice official told reporters at the time.

"Companies often hire consultants for these purposes, especially at the beginning of a new presidential administration, and we have done so in previous administrations, as well", the company said in the email.

Government ethics lawyer Kathleen Clark said Cohen had an obligation under NY state law to inform Trump of the consulting work if it potentially conflicted with Cohen's work as a personal lawyer to the president.

"We're not going to interfere with that here", she said.

AT&T and the pharmaceutical company Novartis, another Cohen client, said this week that they provided information about their dealings with Trump's lawyer to special counsel Robert Mueller III past year. "These financial relationships may affect the degree to which he trusts what Cohen tells him". Other critics pointed out Trump's complaints about Sessions and the DOJ.

The former NY mayor in an interview with Business Insider was responding to a challenge from Michael Avenatti, the lawyer for the adult entertainer who claims she had an affair with Trump, to debate the president's defamation suit against his client live on-air.

"This is a snapshot into a dark form of influence peddling", Fischer said.

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