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Offbeat Exclusive: AT&T CEO says hiring Trump lawyer was 'big mistake' - memo

16:30  11 may  2018
16:30  11 may  2018 Source:   reuters.com

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AT & T CEO Randall Stephenson said hiring President Donald Trump 's personal lawyer as a consultant was "a big mistake ," according to a company memo sent on Friday.

May 11 (Reuters) - Hiring President Donald Trump 's personal attorney, Michael Cohen, was a " big mistake ," AT & T Inc Chief Executive Officer Randall Stephenson said in an employee memo , reviewed by Reuters, that went out Friday morning.

a man smiling for the camera: U.S. President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen arrives at his hotel in New York © REUTERS/Brendan McDermid U.S. President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen arrives at his hotel in New York

Hiring President Donald Trump's personal attorney, Michael Cohen, was a "big mistake," AT&T Inc (T.N) Chief Executive Officer Randall Stephenson said in an employee memo, reviewed by Reuters, that went out Friday morning.

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

AT&T said on Tuesday it had hired Essential Consultants LLC, a company used by Cohen, to advise it on working with the new administration in early 2017, around the time of Trump's inauguration.

AT&T confirms it paid Trump lawyer Michael Cohen's company

  AT&T confirms it paid Trump lawyer Michael Cohen's company AT&T confirmed Tuesday evening that it paid President Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen in 2017 for "insights into understanding the new administration." The payments were revealed in a document published by Stormy Daniels' attorney Michael Avenatti Tuesday afternoon.

AT & T told employees Friday that hiring President Donald Trump 's lawyer Michael Cohen as a consultant was a " big mistake .". The telecommunications giant also announced the retirement of the executive whose unit retained Cohen.

“There is no other way to say it – AT & T hiring Michael Cohen as a political consultant was a big mistake ,” the memo said . President Trump expressed opposition to the merger with Time Warner during the campaign and his administration ultimately chose to fight it

"To be clear, everything we did was done according to the law and entirely legitimate," Stephenson wrote in the memo. "But the fact is our past association with Cohen was a serious misjudgment."

AT&T did not hire Cohen to lobby on behalf of the company, according to the memo. The one-year contract at $50,000 per month, from January through December 2017, was limited to consulting and advisory services, according to the memo.

The AT&T payments by AT&T were revealed by Michael Avenatti, adult film actress Stormy Daniels' lawyer, who also said a company owned by Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg and other corporations had paid Essential Consultants for certain services.

Essential Consultants paid $130,000 to Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, days before the 2016 presidential election as part of a nondisclosure agreement that barred her from discussing an alleged sexual encounter with Trump. He denies any encounter took place.

(Reporting by Jessica Toonkel in New York and David Shepardson in Washington; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)

Top Novartis lawyer steps down over payments to Trump lawyer .
Top legal expert apologizes for payments made by the firm to Donald Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen . The announcement comes after Novartis was dragged into the scandal over Cohen's payment of $130,000 to adult film actress Stormy Daniels just days before the 2016 presidential election.Mr. Trump has denied having an affair with Daniels or knowing anything about that payment but his new lawyer Rudy Giuliani has acknowledged the U.S. president had in fact reimbursed Cohen for the payoff.

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