Why, Yes, It Was

Cecilia Kang reports AT&T Chief Says Hiring Michael Cohen Was a ‘Big Mistake’:

WASHINGTON — Randall L. Stephenson, AT&T’s chief executive, said on Friday that the company had made a “big mistake” by hiring President Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael D. Cohen, to advise on the telecommunications giant’s deal to buy Time Warner.

“Our company has been in the headlines for all the wrong reasons these last few days and our reputation has been damaged,” Mr. Stephenson wrote in a memo to employees. “There is no other way to say it — AT&T hiring Michael Cohen as a political consultant was a big mistake.”

Mr. Stephenson’s note followed the revelation that the company had paid Mr. Cohen $600,000 to advise on the $85.4 billion merger with Time Warner and other regulatory matters. Mr. Stephenson also said in the memo that the company’s head of lobbying and external affairs, Bob Quinn, 57, would be retiring.