AT&T Earns a Swampy Scarlet Letter for Paying $600,000 to Trump's Fixer

“You ride with an outlaw, you die with an outlaw.”That chilling line was from Lonesome Dove, a famous miniseries and novel that memorably portrayed life and justice in the Wild West.Your grandmother may have put it differently: “You’re known by the company you keep.”So where does that put AT&T now? The telecom giant paid up to $600,000 to Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s long-time fixer and the man behind a hush-money scheme to a porn star who claims to have had an affair with Trump.Cohen has been a controversial figure and ardent Trump defender, and his profile has been rising since Trump launched his bid for the presidency three years ago. Last month, the FBI raided Cohen’s office and hotel room, seizing business records and other documents.AT&T said it hired Cohen for “insights into understanding the new administration.” That included how Trump might approach tax cuts, net neutrality and AT&T’s merger with Time Warner Inc., a bet-the-company combination that the Justice Department is trying to stop in court.So what did AT&T, one of the world’s leading companies, get for its money? It’s now part of a sleazy story that includes a Russian oligarch, a porn-star payoff and talk about trying to buy influence with the president.In other words, Ma Bell’s swimming in the swamp.“It appears this may be your typical pay-to-play type scenario,” Michael Avenatti, the attorney for porn star Stormy Daniels, told CNN.  Continue reading...

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