“AT&T’s $600,000 deal with U.S. President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen, specified that Cohen would advise the company on its $85 billion merger with Time Warner, The Washington Post reported on Thursday, citing company documents,” according to Reuters.
Reuters adds: “The Washington Post reported that the internal documents it saw specified that Cohen would provide the company advice on its merger with Time Warner.
“It reported that the documents showed the company turned to Cohen three days after Trump was elected, seeking his help on a wide range of issues pending before the federal government.
“It was unclear what insights Cohen, a longtime real estate attorney, would have been able to offer AT&T on a complicated telecommunications-entertainment merger, the Post reported.”
This morning AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said, “Hiring Michael Cohen as a political consultant was a big mistake,” reports CNN.
The CNN story says Stephenson wrote in a memo to employees: “To be clear, everything we did was done according to the law and entirely legitimate. But the fact is, our past association with Cohen was a serious misjudgment.”
CNN adds that Stephenson says he takes responsibility for the mistake, but notes: “Stephenson announced that Bob Quinn, one of the executives involved in the Cohen deal, ‘will be retiring.’” The report notes that Quinn was in charge of AT&T’s legislative affairs operation in Washington.