President Donald Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, appeared to claim in comments published on Friday that Trump had personally intervened to stop AT&T’s attempt to merge with Time Warner.
Giuliani’s comments, made in an interview with HuffPost, come after the revelation that AT&T paid $600,000 to Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen for help with “insights” into the president’s thinking.
“Whatever lobbying was done didn’t reach the president,” Giuliani told the publication.
“He did drain the swamp,” Giuliani continued. “The president denied the merger. They didn’t get the result they wanted.”
AT&T’s top lobbyist Bob Quinn has said Cohen didn’t perform any lobbying work for them. The company announced on Friday that Quinn is retiring and source familiar with the situation told NBC News that Quinn’s retirement is “clearly in relation to this situation.”
The telecom giant’s CEO said hiring Cohen was “a big mistake,” according to a company memo sent on Friday.
Giuliani’s comments Friday raised fresh concerns about contacts between the president and the Justice Department, which oversees antitrust cases and is supposed to be an independent arm of the government.