AFP WASHINGTON (AFP-Jiji) — AT&T’s top executive said Friday it was a “big mistake” to hire Donald Trump’s personal lawyer as a consultant after the 2016 presidential election, but maintained that the telecom giant’s actions were legal and “entirely legitimate.”
Randall Stephenson, AT&T’s chairman and chief executive, also told employees in a message that the company’s policy chief Bob Quinn would be retiring following the disclosures of payments to lawyer Michael Cohen, who is now the focus of a series of investigations.
“There is no other way to say it — AT&T hiring Michael Cohen as a political consultant was a big mistake,” Stephenson said.
“To be clear, everything we did was done according to the law and entirely legitimate. But the fact is, our past association with Cohen was a serious misjudgment. In this instance, our Washington DC team’s vetting process clearly failed, and I take responsibility for that.”
AT&T recently acknowledged paying some $600,000 to Cohen, who is under scrutiny for accepting payment from companies and others seeking access to the White House, and for making a $130,000 payment to porn star Stormy Daniels, who says she had an affair with Trump about a decade ago.