On AT&T-Time Warner merger, Giuliani again contradicts White Hou

On AT&T-Time Warner merger, Giuliani again contradicts White Hou

AT&T and the pharmaceutical company Novartis, another Cohen client, said this week that they provided information about their dealings with Trump's lawyer to special counsel Robert Mueller III a year ago.

"There is no other way to say it - AT&T hiring Michael Cohen as a political consultant was a big mistake", the memo said.

That's why it was so surprising when HuffPost quoted Giuliani saying "the president denied the merger". "Contrary to what his critics would have you believe, since his inauguration President Trump has delivered on many of his Drain the Swamp promises, including tough new rules on lobbying". He also said that the company's top lobbyist, Bob Quinn, would be leaving.

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

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.

It was unclear if Giuliani misspoke, but his comment on its face would validate an argument that AT&T-Time Warner tried to advance before a recent six-week antitrust trial - that they were singled out for antitrust enforcement by the Justice Department because Trump didn't want it. AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson has said that the "elephant in the room" in the Justice Department's lawsuit is Trump's influence.

"The president wasn't aware that [Cohen] had gotten money for it", he said.

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On the day AT&T announced its bid to buy Time Warner, the parent company of CNN, then-candidate Trump said he opposed the deal. Pharmaceutical giant Novartis paid $1.2 million to Michael Cohen-the beleaguered attorney best known for negotiating a deal to quiet porn star Stormy Daniels over an alleged dalliance with Donald Trump-for healthcare policy advice. "But the fact is our past association with Cohen was a serious misjudgment".

Closing arguments were made in the AT&T-Time Warner case last month, and Judge Richard Leon said he will present a decision on June 12.

Stephenson said the vetting process in Quinn's office "clearly failed" and vowed AT&T would "do better".

Former Bush press secretary Ari Fleischer called the entire Stormy Daniels situation a "sideshow", citing the fact that it's "being investigated in the Southern District of NY and not by Mueller". "Novartis paid Mr. Cohen tons of of 1000's greater than it paid its big-shot lobbyists in Washington. When it first came out, he was surprised", Giuliani said. Cohen did not respond to requests for comment.

Cohen was the longtime attorney for Trump and the Trump Organization. "They were asking him to help them get a feel on the administration and where the administration is going", said Scott Amey, general counsel for the Project on Government Oversight.

Sanders noted during her press briefing Friday, "This further proves the president is not going to be influenced by special interests".

"At no time did I receive orders, instructions or directions relating to the transaction or the decision to file the complaint" from Trump, Sessions or their staffers, Delrahim said.

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