AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson has admitted he might have been in the wrong to shadily pay President Trump’s lawyer for insight into the new administration.
In a memo seen by Reuters, Stephenson admits paying Michael Cohen’s Essential Consultants LLC $200,000 for ‘advice’ was a ‘big mistake’, while the executive who oversee the dodgy transaction, Head Lobbyist Bob Quinn, has decided this is the right time to retire.
“To be clear, everything we did was done according to the law and entirely legitimate,” Stephenson wrote in the memo. “But the fact is our past association with Cohen was a serious misjudgement.”
AT&T is currently doing its best to battle the US government to win approval to green light the $85 billion Time Warner acquisition, therefore such negative associations will not be welcomed. Aside from a thinly veiled excuse for vastly overpaying for ‘advice’ (surely no one is buying this one), Cohen’s firm has also been involved with Russian businesses for unknown services; the association is not going to help AT&T.
The whole situation is incredibly suspect. The 12 month contract between AT&T and Essential Consultants LLC is worth $50,000 a month for advice. Unless Cohen and his cronies are teaching Stephenson and his cohorts the meaning of life, you have to wonder what guidance could be worth a total of $600,000 a year. Everything about this reeks of dodginess and conflict of interest.