AT&T’s chief executive said Friday that the company made a “serious misjudgment” to seek advice from President Donald Trump’s personal attorney and announced that its top lobbying executive in Washington would be leaving the firm.
“There is no other way to say it – AT&T hiring Michael Cohen as a political consultant was a big mistake,” AT&T chief executive Randall Stephenson wrote in a companywide internal email.
The email comes after revelations that AT&T agreed to pay $600,000 to Cohen last year in exchange for advice on how to approach the Trump administration. Internal AT&T documents, obtained by The Washington Post on Thursday, outlined how Cohen was expected to provide guidance on matters facing the company at the Federal Communications Commission and the Justice Department, specifically mentioning AT&T’s $85 billion Time Warner merger.
The departing executive, Bob Quinn, who is AT&T’s senior executive vice president of external and legislative affairs, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Quinn, who has been in his position since 2016, originally started with the Bell system as an operator for Illinois Bell in 1980, before AT&T was broken up by the Justice Department in a landmark antitrust action four years later.
Mary Altaffer, The Associated PressMichael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, arrives at federal court, Monday, April 16, 2018, in New York. A U.S. judge will hear more arguments about Trump’s extraordinary request that he be allowed to review records seized from Cohen’s office as part of a criminal investigation before they are examined by prosecutors.
Three days after Trump was sworn into office, the telecom giant turned to Cohen for help on a wide portfolio of issues pending before the federal government – including the Time Warner merger, according to documents The Post obtained. Trump had voiced opposition to the merger during the presidential campaign, …read more
Source:: The Denver Post