AT&T deal with Cohen specified providing advice on Time Warner merger

AT&T Chief Calls Hiring Michael Cohen as Consultant a 'Big Mistake'

But he, and the rest of the company, was surprised by the election results and had few connections to Trump's circles.

Stephenson's apology was also an extraordinary admission from a company that has long run one of Washington's largest and most sophisticated lobbying shops and donates millions of dollars each year to hundreds of candidates on both sides of the aisle.

The head of Dallas-based AT&T is doing damage control on a scandal involving President Donald Trump's personal attorney, porn star Stormy Daniels and the Russian Federation investigation. Robert Quinn, a veteran lobbyist and attorney who'd led the office, was forced out and AT&T's Chief Executive Officer Randall Stephenson issued a stinging rebuke.

In this instance, our Washington D.C. team's vetting process clearly failed, and I take responsibility for that.

Trump frequently railed against the AT&T merger on the campaign trail, calling it bad for the country.

Quinn's predecessor, Jim Cicconi, was among a handful of Republicans backing Democrat Hillary Clinton for president.

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"Avenue Strategies called us to set up a meeting to pitch us on their services in early 2017", an AT&T spokesperson said in a statement.

Stephenson noted in the letter that a senior vice president of the company's internal government affairs group will be retiring in the wake of the Cohen revelations.

The disclosure of AT&T's relationship with Cohen has turned into a major embarrassment for the telecommunications company as it awaits a US judge's decision, due June 12, on whether it can go through with the purchase of Time Warner, a deal that has been denounced by Trump.

Giuliani, a former mayor of New York City who lately joined Trump's individual legal group, stated he represents Trump, maybe not Cohen, but still believes Cohen did nearly nothing wrong, HuffPost reported. The company also donated more than $2 million to the committee organizing Trump's inauguration. Reuters could not immediately verify the claim and it was not clear how Avenatti would have knowledge of any payment from Vekselberg to Cohen.

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. But AT&T had Cohen under contract for virtually all of 2017 for $50,000 a month.

Earlier this week, the telecommunications giant said it had co-operated when contacted late past year by investigators from the office of Robert Mueller, the special counsel looking into allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 election campaign.

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Merkel said Germany supports the Iran nuclear deal as long as Tehran continues to fulfill its obligations under the accord.

"There doesn't seem to be any involvement with us", he said.

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.

AT&T paid Essential Consultants LLC, a firm set up by Cohen, a total of $600,000 over 2017 for the advice.

Shares in AT&T briefly fell on Wednesday to their lowest point since August 2015.

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.

"It is an ethical concern if you have a lawyer who appears to be selling access to a current client, who is president", Noble said. He doesn't think the company will lose a step.

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

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