John Oliver mocks AT&T for paying Michael Cohen to 'understand' Trump's thinking

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Earlier this month, Novartis announced that special counsel Robert Mueller, who was appointed a year ago to oversee an ongoing investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 USA presidential election, enquired in November about the company's outflows to Cohen.

Democratic leaders on two key Senate committees have initiated a congressional probe of the Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis" $1.2 million payment to the shell company of Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's personal lawyer and so-called "fixer'. The president has denied Ms. Clifford's claims.

Cohen's office, residence and hotel room were raided by federal officials last month. The company said it quickly determined that Cohen's firm was unable to provide the services it anticipated, but was contractually obligated to keep paying Cohen's firm through February 2018.

Oliver concluded: "Now, we probably don't know the full significance of these payments but I would argue that, at heart, these companies got exactly what they paid for, because they wanted to understand how the Trump administration worked, and think about it: they put their trust in a political novice who turned out to be a total moron and was actually just bilking them for personal gain".

He added that "millions of dollars for access to Trump... is just freakish because I naturally assumed you gained access to the president by finding a golden ticket in your MAGA hat".

"Reports about Michael Cohen's dealings with Novartis look more like a corporate shakedown than an honest business arrangement", said Wyden in a statement.

Most popular: What Are Trans Fats and What Foods Contain Them? I'm closest to the president. "If so, did any of those discussions involve a potential work by, or a contract with, Essential Consultants and Mr. Cohen?" the senators asked. The senators said the payments "raise obvious questions about corruption and whether AT&T, Essential Consultants and the Trump administration were engaged in a pay-for-play operation". Further information requests include the internal approval process at Novartis, the rationale behind the deal, and copies of internal and external communications.

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