AT&T CEO Regrets “Big Mistake, Serious Misjudgment” To Hire Cohen, Top Executive Behind Deal To “Retire”

USA Today reports

The CEO of AT&T described the company’s decision to hire President Trump’s personal attorney as a “big mistake” and a “serious misjudgment” in a message to employees Friday. “Our reputation has been damaged,” Randall Stephenson wrote in the statement. “There is no other way to say it — AT&T hiring Michael Cohen as a political consultant was a big mistake.”

The company acknowledged this week it paid Cohen $600,000 after Trump was elected to offer “insights into understanding the new administration.” The arrangement came as the company pursued a merger with Time Warner that required sign off from federal regulators.

CNN Money reports:

“In this instance, our Washington D.C. team’s vetting process clearly failed, and I take responsibility for that,” he added. Stephenson announced that Bob Quinn, one of the executives involved in the Cohen deal, “will be retiring.” Quinn was in charge of AT&T’s legislative affairs operation in Washington.

Stephenson expressed regret to the company’s employees, citing the negative attention around AT&T in recent days. “To all of you who work tirelessly every day to serve customers and represent the brand proudly, thank you. My personal commitment to you is — we will do better,” he wrote.