Rudy Giuliani Tells HuffPost: Trump 'Denied' AT&T-Time Warner Merger

Rudy Giuliani Tells HuffPost: Trump 'Denied' AT&T-Time Warner Merger

In a statement in November, deputy press secretary Raj Shah said "the President did not speak with the Attorney General about this matter, and no White House official was authorized to speak with the Department of Justice on this matter".

In a memo to employees, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said the company made a "big mistake" in hiring Cohen as a political consultant. It was through Essentials Consulting that AT&T retained Cohen.

Later in the week, it was reported that the initial AT&T number was drastically lower than what was actually paid - AT&T gave Cohen $600,000 to advise the company on its proposed $85 billion merger with Time Warner, something Trump had previously opposed.

Cicconi retired and Quinn became senior executive vice president of AT&T's external & legislative affairs in October 2016, just before the presidential election.

In the wake of the revelation of Cohen's link to AT&T, ranking Democrats on antitrust subcommittees in both the House and Senate sent a joint letter to the Justice Department's top competition enforcer, Makan Delrahim, asking whether he knew of the company's payments to Cohen during his agency's independent review of the Time Warner merger.

Rudy Giuliani told HuffPost on Friday that President Trump "denied" the AT&T-Time Warner merger, proof that he was not influenced by Michael Cohen after he lined up AT&T as a consulting client as the transaction was under review. AT&T disagreed, sending the battle into a federal trial.

Novartis hired Cohen's consulting firm in 2017 to provide insight on Trump's health-care plans.

At the time it was making the payments, Wyden said, the company was negotiating with FDA over the approval.

The new information about Cohen's business ventures comes just weeks after Federal Bureau of Investigation agents raided his home, office and hotel room, seizing financial records and his electronic devices.

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When AT&T swung its deal with Cohen, the merger was very much an issue in Washington.

"To be clear, everything we did was done according to the law and entirely legitimate", Stephenson wrote. Nonetheless, Stephenson added, retaining Cohen "was a serious misjudgment".

Indeed, in addition to the scandal surrounding Cohen, the Trump administration has often had the look of a feeding frenzy, with Trump and those around him facing frequent accusations of attempting to profit from his presidency.

Cohen drew up the agreement, complete with fake names for Trump and Daniels, and paid the money using a shell company he registered in DE just days earlier.

"It was all captured in one phrase that came to define the 2016 campaign's epic battle between the populist insurgent and the corrupt Clinton machine and all it represented: Drain the Swamp!" the Tory argued.

An attorney for Cohen did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Following Avenatti's release of information on Tuesday, AT&T and Novartis each revealed that the companies had been contacted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller's office in late 2017 about their respective arrangements with Cohen.

Giuliani, the former U.S. Attorney of the office now investigating Cohen and also a former New York City mayor, took charge of Trump's private legal team handling the Mueller investigation last month with the hope of wrapping it up quickly.

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