Monday, 10 December, 2018

Rudy Giuliani stands by his comment about Trump and AT&T

AT&T Chief Calls Hiring Michael Cohen as Consultant a 'Big Mistake' Why Did Novartis Pay Trump's Lawyer $1.2 Million? Look At Its Drug Prices
Cristina Norman | 13 May, 2018, 00:52

"Did Cohen even listen to what Donald Trump was saying on the campaign trail?"

"Our company has been in the headlines for all the wrong reasons these last few days and our reputation has been damaged", AT&T chief executive Randall Stephenson wrote in a companywide internal email.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders says that while companies paid President Donald Trump's personal attorney for insight, the president was not influenced.

AT&T's head lobbyist, Bob Quinn, who oversaw the hiring of Cohen, is retiring, according to the memo. The group will now report directly to the firm's top in-house lawyer.

AT&T has said Cohen approached employees in the company's Washington office shortly after the election. One of the company's big issues is its $85 billion buy of Time Warner, which it desperately wants to go through.

Michael Avenatti, an attorney for porn star Stormy Daniels, revealed earlier this week that Cohen had received payments from a number of companies in 2017 and 2018, including AT&T, the Swiss drugmaker Novartis AG, Korea Aerospace Industries Ltd and Columbus Nova LLC. Trump has denied her allegations.

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. How do we meet his management team at least to get an idea of how they think about things?

The FBI raided Cohen's home and office in April, as part of a probe being conducted by NY federal prosecutors. Cohen has not been charged with any crime, and his lawyer has maintained that he has done nothing improper.

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. Cohen's lawyers called much of what Avenatti released "completely inaccurate".

AT&T and Time Warner had suggested before the trial that the Justice Department's decision to block a merger of two companies that do not compete was influenced by presidential politics. There are a lot of unanswered questions as the scandal continues to unfold, but in this segment from Thursday night's "Daily Show", Trevor Noah takes on the most basic question: How did various corporations get sucked into playing ball with Cohen in the first place?

She declined to discuss a remark made this week by a White House aide, that President Trump should not worry about Sen.

In this file photo, the AT&T logo is seen on the company's headquarters in San Antonio, Texas, Oct. 12, 2006.

Mr. Mueller's office also contacted AT&T and Novartis AG, which said this week it paid Mr. Cohen $1.2 million in consulting fees; the companies said they cooperated with Mr. Mueller's request for information. "Keep in mind - it was a whole new environment and the usual players were no longer in [their] role".

"We made a mistake in entering into this engagement and, as a effect, are being criticized by a world that expects more from us", Novartis CEO Vasant Narasimhan said in a memo to employees. Department officials were surprised by the AT&T-Cohen revelations, a person familiar with the matter said.

The AT&T-Time Warner deal, a so-called "vertical merger" among companies that do not compete, is the kind that has historically enjoyed typical regulatory approval.

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