How AT&T's Desperate Hunt for Trump Insight Led to Cohen Fiasco

Saul Bowman
May 12, 2018

Avenatti then posted this Executive Summary (that has since been taken down after some portions were proven to be mistaken with another Michael Cohen) with a litany of allegations all centering around the charge that Trump's lawyer, Michael Cohen, was essentially running a slush fund out of the bank account that he paid $130,000 to Stormy Daniels from. Initially, AT&T tried to claim that the company had simply hired Cohen for "insight" into President Trump. AT&T is desperately working to get a merger with Time Warner approved.

"This further proves the president is not going to be influenced by special interests".

AT&T also said, "we didn't ask him to set up any meetings for us with anyone in the administration and he didn't offer to do so".

McAtee's top priority, Stephenson said in the memo, will be to ensure that the company's political partners in the future would be "people who share our high standards".

The ties between AT&T and Cohen had previously been revealed, but the telecommunications company had only said it agreed to pay the attorney to gain a better understanding on how the incoming Trump administration might approach a wide range of issues, including antitrust issues. In addition to an eye-popping $7 billion breakup fee AT&T had to pay T-Mobile in the form of cash and airwaves, Stephenson's pay that year was docked $2 million for failing to complete the deal.

"People should recognize that he [Quinn] came to recognize it was a misjudgment - witness the fact a year ago that he terminated the contract, got out of it as fast as he could, and that's a point that's not being written right now as people pile on", the person said.

The deal is significant because it raises questions about whether Trump knew about his personal attorney's financial dealings with AT&T and other companies with business before the Trump administration. Novartis officials soon determined Mr. Cohen would not be able to deliver on his promises, though they were unable to end the contract. But the fact is, our past association with Cohen was a serious misjudgment.

He also said that "In this instance, our Washington D.C. team's vetting process clearly failed, and I take responsibility for that". "But that's factually accurate, and it ought to carry more weight in this situation".

Federal law requires companies such as AT&T to register individuals as lobbyists if they devote at least 20 percent of their time contacting and trying to influence key government decision-makers, including the president.

Dallas-based AT&T Inc. didn't immediately respond to requests for comment about the Post's story.

To that end, ethics experts said Friday that the wireless giant could be in the clear legally. I don't burden them with every single thing that comes along.

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