AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson emailed employees today to apologize for the company’s connection with lawyer Michael Cohen and Essential Consultants. “Our company has been in the headlines for all the wrong reasons these last few days and our reputation has been damaged,” wrote Stephenson in the email. “There is no other way to say it — AT&T hiring Michael Cohen as a political consultant was a big mistake.” The company paid Cohen for what it says were consulting purposes during the transition to the Trump administration. AT&T had hoped to gain insight concerning legislative and regulatory changes. “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 D.C. team’s vetting process clearly failed, and I take responsibility for that.” As a result, Stephenson said Bob Quinn, who ran AT&T’s legislative affairs operations in D.C., will retire.
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