DALLAS—Acknowledging the company had made a serious error in its efforts to curry favor with the president, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson reportedly admitted Friday that he regretted hiring Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen, to help its merger with Time Warner go through instead of just dropping a ton of cash off at the Trump International Hotel like everyone else. “On behalf of AT&T, I apologize for our decision to pay Mr. Cohen to influence the president’s agenda and not just drive up to the back door of the Trump hotel in D.C. with a briefcase full of cash,” said Stephenson, adding that the $600,000 the company paid Cohen as a political consultant would have been put to much better use as part of a collection of unmarked bills in a duffel bag handed off to a guy in the hotel lobby. “I regret trying to use Mr. Cohen as a middleman instead of just going directly to the Trump hotel with our bribe and being done with it. Not only did we have to deal with all of Mr. Cohen’s disorganized bullshit, as well as his pretty shocking lack of knowledge on how regulatory reform actually works, but we also were never sure how much of our money was actually being used to influence the administration’s policy-making. I can assure everyone that from now on, AT&T will follow the lead of other companies by just depositing a bunch of cash on the hotel’s loading dock.” Stephenson added that AT&T and Time Warner were also taking the extra step of leaving tons of cash at the offices of multiple members of the president’s cabinet.
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