Chief Executive Officer of AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T), Mr. Randall L. Stephenson said the company regrets to hire the services of Mr. Michael D. Cohen, the personal lawyer of Mr. Trump for an advice on its merger with Time Warner Inc (NYSE:TWX). Mr. Michael was hired to provide an advice on the policy of the federal government and what is the approach of the government towards AT&T and the proposed merger with Time Warner.
CEO of AT&T, Bob Quinn said Bob Quinn, who is the head of lobbying/ external affairs, will also move out from the company. The company has been in headlines for all the wrong doings in the recent past and its reputation is badly damaged. In a memo to the employees, CEO said it was a mistake to appoint Mr. Michael as a political consultant.
According to the note of CEO, AT&T has paid $600,000 to Mr. Michael for advice on the regulatory matters and merger with Timer Warner Group. The merger deal is valued at $85.4 billion.
The business dealings of Mr. Michael is under the investigation by federal prosecutors. Mr. Michael allegedly paid a sum of $130,000 to the adult porn star Stephanie Clifford aka Stormy Daniels to silence her on her affair with Mr. Donald Trump. However, the US President denied having an affair with Stormy Daniels.
In the light of the above, statements made by AT&T is an effort to distance itself from Mr. Michael. He was one of the several consultants hired by AT&T on the eve of Mr. Trump taking charge as president. The company has not disclosed the names of other consultants but retained them as lobbyists and consultants for government affairs.
The company has paid nearly $4.1 million for the lobbyists during the first three months of this year. The lobbying fee us paid to almost 30 firms. The largest monthly fee to other lobbyists is around $35,000 which is lower when compared to the monthly payout of $50,000 to Mr. Michael.
Mr. Michael also had similar deals with Novartis AG (VTX:NOVN). The company paid $1.2 million to Essential Consultants, a firm owned by Mr. Michael.