AT&T announced on Tuesday that it hired a consulting firm started by Michael Cohen, President Trump's personal lawyer, in 2017 so it could gain "insights into understanding the new administration."
The company said Cohen's firm was one of several it "engaged in early 2017," and they did no "legal or lobbying work for us." AT&T did not reveal what information Cohen gave the company before their contract ended in December. AT&T made the announcement after Stormy Daniels' attorney, Michael Avenatti, released a report saying AT&T made four payments of $50,000 from October 2017 to January 2018 to Essential Consultants LLC, a company Cohen set up and used to make a $130,000 payment to Daniels in exchange for her silence regarding an affair she said she had with Trump in 2006.
While campaigning, Trump blasted AT&T's takeover of Time Warner and said if elected, he would oppose the deal, The Wall Street Journal reports. In November, the Justice Department filed an antitrust lawsuit to block the merger, and a federal judge is expected to issue a ruling on June 12. Catherine Garcia