Giuliani says Trump 'had no knowledge' of Cohen's corporate clients

by Susie Olson May 13, 2018, 0:48
Giuliani says Trump 'had no knowledge' of Cohen's corporate clients

Giuliani made the comments after being asked whether Trump had knowledge that Michael Cohen, his lawyer, had taken hundreds of thousands of dollars from AT&T in the weeks after the election for consulting work on the merger.

Cohen's arrangement stands out, even in Washington where corporations, trade associations and other organisations spend upward of US$3 billion ($4.3b) annually to influence legislation and get access to the highest levels of government.

Trump frequently railed against the AT&T merger on the campaign trail, calling it bad for the country.

"I think this further proves that the president is not going to be influenced by special interests", Sanders said.

In that episode Trump said Giuliani would "get his facts straight".

As for the AT&T-Time Warner merger, its fate will be decided by U.S. District Judge Richard Leon, who presided over a week long trial that wrapped up last week.

"So the devil is in the details", Rosenstein said.

During his first few days as counsel to the president, the former NY mayor made a huge unforced error on Fox News, telling Sean Hannity that Trump reimbursed Michael Cohen for his $130,000 payment to Stormy Daniels in 2016. "What did the President believe he was giving to the companies in exchange for the payments?"

Federal prosecutors are investigating Mr. Cohen's business dealings, including a $130,000 payment he made to the pornographic film actress Stephanie Clifford, known professionally as Stormy Daniels, as part of a deal to buy her silence about an affair she says she had with Mr. Trump.

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Federal prosecutors in Manhattan are investigating Mr. Cohen to determine whether he violated any laws in his efforts to raise cash and hide negative information about Mr. Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign, according to people familiar with the matter.

Not really, said Craig Holman of Public Citizen, a nonprofit watchdog group. A lawyer for Mr. Cohen declined to comment Friday.

This would not be the first time Giuliani has appeared to contradict the White House, posing a challenge for the White House communications staff.

Mr. Cohen also reached out to Ford Motor Co., but the auto maker turned him down, according to people familiar with the matter.

Wyden said that of the lobbying firms the Swiss drugmaker paid during the first 15 months of the Trump administration, no single firm was paid more than $300,000, while Cohen's firm was paid that amount each quarter for one year. Novartis acknowledged this week that it paid Cohen's shell company for health care consulting services.

Novartis officials said Cohen approached them, as well. The company is defending its merger with Time Warner in federal court against the Justice Department's efforts to block the deal.

Fox News anchor and former top strategist for the Conservative Party in the United Kingdom, Steve Hilton, demanded an apology from Donald Trump fixer Michael Cohen on Saturday.

"Do you have the view that all negative stories about the president are fake?" one reporter wondered. "These financial relationships may affect the degree to which he trusts what Cohen tells him". Trump has been vocal in his disdain for CNN's coverage of his administration.

The corporate payments he received demonstrate how Cohen was able to turn his ties with the new president into money-making opportunities, despite Trump's campaign pledges to "drain the swamp".


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