Wyden wants to know what Novartis was seeking from Cohen deal

13 May, 2018, 06:53 | Author: Arnold Perez
  • Enron execs — they thought they were the smartest people alive. Until they went down.   PBS

It did not hire Cohen to lobby on its behalf, AT&T said, adding that his one-year contract at US$50,000 per month, ran from January through December last year and was limited to consulting and advisory services. It was later revealed that it paid Cohen $600,000 for strategic advice on its $85 billion merger with Time Warner, which Trump has opposed. But things didn't seem to work out with Novartis, which signed a yearlong pact with Cohen in February 2017 for $100,000 a month. The company also donated more than $2 million to the committee organizing Trump's inauguration.

The Dallas-based telecom giant spent more than $350 million on advocacy in the past 20 years - including almost $17 million last year alone.

Hours before her briefing, AT&T's CEO said his company's financial arrangement with Cohen, all $600K of it, had been a big mistake.

"There is certainly plenty AT&T would like to get out of the Trump administration", noted the far-left media outlet Vox, adding that AT&T is now attempting to get a $85 billion merger with Time Warner approved through the Trump administration. "Such a disgrace in reporting!" he wrote.

When AT&T swung its deal with Cohen, the merger was very much an issue in Washington.

"I wouldn't debate him because it wouldn't be fair", the former NY mayor and United States attorney continued.

"If the decision goes against AT&T, if this merger is blocked, then we may see some other heads roll at AT&T... including the chairman", he said. But Cohen has known Trump for years.

Cohen had reached out to AT&T even before Stephenson's huddle with the president, the person said.

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Giuliani's comments on AT&T are the latest in a series of gaffes by the former NY mayor that have done more harm than good to the president. He also said that the company's top lobbyist, Bob Quinn, would be leaving.

"We didn't engage with them". "We have received no additional questions from the Special Counsel's office and have considered the matter closed", it said.

The multi-layered scandal over payments by several major companies to Michael Cohen's Essential Consultants LLC-the firm used to pay porn star Stormy Daniels $130,000 in hush money over her alleged affair with Donald Trump-continues to get more complicated.

And if anything, AT&T now regrets its decision to ever contract Cohen.

Cicconi retired and Quinn became senior executive vice president of AT&T's external & legislative affairs in October 2016, just before the presidential election.

However, two sources familiar with the situation said that Quinn was forced to retire. "Novartis paid Mr. Cohen tons of of 1000's greater than it paid its big-shot lobbyists in Washington".

"I'm crushing it", Cohen told an associate in 2017, according to the WashingtonPost, in regard to his pitches to potential clients. But such a scheme would fit in comfortably in Trump's Washington.

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. But it was unclear what legal action Trump was referring to that would touch on "unrevealed" conflicts of interest. Shares of Time Warner have suffered no dramatic drops since AT&T's connection with Cohen first came to light earlier this week.



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