Here are all the companies that Michael Cohen approached about providing access to Trump, and how they reacted

  • President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen approached a slew of companies following the election, offering access to the president.
  • A handful of them made payments to Cohen through a firm called Essential Consulting.
  • Michael Avenatti, the lawyer representing the adult-film star Stormy Daniels in her court cases against Trump and Cohen, revealed the first companies in a report.
  • Here’s a rundown of the companies Cohen talked to, whether they paid the lawyer, and their explanations of the contacts.

President Donald Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen approached a series of businesses in the aftermath of the 2016 election, offering corporations access to the new president, who happened to be his longtime client.

Novartis, a Swiss pharmaceutical firm; Korea Aerospace Industries, a South Korean defense contractor; and AT&T, the massive US telecom, all paid a Cohen-linked LLC named Essential Consulting more than $150,000 for services.

Reasons they gave for the payments varied from insight into the Trump administration to help with US accounting rules.

Other firms, including Ford and Uber, turned down Cohen’s offer to provide insight into the nascent Trump administration.

Michael Avenatti, the lawyer representing the adult-film star Stormy Daniels, revealed the initial wave of connections on Tuesday in a report that detailed Cohen’s finances. The Wall Street Journal reported Uber and Ford.

In addition to the payments from the companies, the report alleged that a $500,000 payment from Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg to a separate LLC shortly after the 2016 election helped pay alleged hush money to Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford.

We’ve run down the full list of companies that Cohen contacted, whether they paid Cohen, and what they said about the Trump lawyer below.


Healthcare giant Novartis paid Cohen $1.2 million in a year.

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Former Novartis CEO Joe Jimenez
source
Reuters

Novartis, one of the largest pharmaceutical firms in the world, confirmed the payment on Wednesday.

In a series of statements, the Swiss drugmaker clarified that the company had a year-long contract with Essential that paid $100,000 a month and “focused on US healthcare policy matters.”

An employee told STAT News that Cohen reached out to Novartis’s then-CEO Joe Jimenez promising help gaining access to Trump.

The company determined after meeting with Cohen that the lawyer’s assistance was not helpful.

“Following this initial meeting, Novartis determined that Michael Cohen and Essential Consultants would be unable to provide the services that Novartis had anticipated related to US healthcare policy matters and the decision was taken not to engage further,” Novartis said in a statement.


South Korean defense company Korea Aerospace Industries paid Cohen $150,000 in November 2017.

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Tech. Sgt. Javier Cruz/USAF

The company, which is partly owned by the South Korean government’s Export-Import bank, confirmed the payment and claimed the money was for “legal consulting concerning accounting standards on production costs.”

It was a one-time payment that came at the end of contact with Essential, the firm said.

Korea Aerospace is currently partnered with Lockheed Martin on a bid to win a US Air Force contract. The contract winner would supply the Air Force with training aircraft and receive up to $16.3 billion.


AT&T paid Cohen at least $200,000 in four installments from late 2017 to early 2018.

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AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson.
source
PBS

The telecom giant confirmed the payment and said Cohen was paid to help AT&T better understand the Trump administration.

“Essential Consulting was one of several firms we engaged in early 2017 to provide insights into understanding the new administration,” AT&T said in a statement Tuesday evening. “They did no legal or lobbying work for us, and the contract ended in December 2017.”

AT&T is currently in the midst of a legal battle with the Trump administration over a proposed merger with Time Warner.

A source told CNBC on Wednesday that AT&T may have paid Cohen up to $600,000, but said it “wasn’t to pay for access to the president.”


Cohen contacted Uber, but the ride-sharing company rejected the advance.

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Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi
source
Getty

According to a Wall Street Journal report, Cohen repeatedly talked to Uber about a possible relationship, but was rejected.

A person at Uber told the Journal that the ride-hailing firm thought that Cohen’s ownership of a New York taxi cab company was a conflict of interest.

The company hasn’t issued a formal statement about Cohen.


Ford also rejected Cohen’s advances.

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Screenshot via YouTube

Ford turned down Cohen in January 2017 after a single phone call from the lawyer, according to the Journal.

The contact between Cohen and Ford is reportedly part of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation and Ziad Ojakli, Ford’s head of government affairs, was interviewed by Mueller’s team about Cohen’s contact.

The company hasn’t issued a formal statement about Cohen.


SEE ALSO: A Korean aerospace company caught up in the latest Michael Cohen scandal is ‘well placed’ to win an Air Force contract worth up to $16.3 billion