AT&T chief Randall Stephenson told staffers via a memo today that hiring President Trump's personal lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen was a "big mistake."
Ma Bell shelled out $600K to Essential Consultants, Cohen's shell company, for advice on its $85B acquisition of Time Warner, a deal opposed by Trump. A federal judge will rule June 12 on the future of the ATT/Time Warner merger.
“Our company has been in the headlines for all the wrong reasons these last few days and our reputation has been damaged,” Stephenson wrote. “There is no other way to say it — AT&T hiring Michael Cohen as a political consultant was a big mistake.”
Stephenson said the payment was legal and "extremely legitimate" though a "serious misjudgment."
He fingered AT&T's DC lobbyists for hiring Cohen. "Our Washington DC team's vetting process clearly failed, and I take responsibility for that."
Stephenson also informed staffers that DC lobbyist Bob Quinn, executive VP for external & legislative affairs, is retiring. The DC outpost will report to David McAttee, general counsel, "for the foreseeable future."
Cohen formed Essential Consultants to pay $130K to porn star Stormy Davis, who allegedly had sex with Trump.