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AT&T CEO calls hiring of Michael Cohen 'big mistake'

AT&T Inc. Chairman, President and CEO Randall Stephenson said the hiring of Michael Cohen as a political consultant was a "big mistake."

"Our company has been in the headlines for all the wrong reasons these last few days and our reputation has been damaged," Stephenson said in a letter to the company's staffers, according to a May 11 Variety report.

Stephenson added that even though everything was in accordance with the law, the U.S. carrier's past association with Cohen was a "serious misjudgment."

Also, Senior Executive Vice President Bob Quinn, the executive in charge of the company's Washington, D.C., office, is retiring. Stephenson said the external and legislative affairs group, based in Washington, will report to General Counsel David McAtee for the "foreseeable future."

The statement comes after an AT&T spokeswoman confirmed that the company paid Donald Trump attorney Michael Cohen's consulting firm for "insights" into the Trump administration. The confirmation came after Michael Avenatti, the attorney for adult film actress Stormy Daniels, disclosed that Cohen's firm received $200,000 in four separate payments of $50,000 in late 2017 and early 2018 from the U.S. carrier.