Michael Cohen, longtime personal lawyer and confidante for President Donald Trump. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said in an employee memo Friday morning that hiring President Trump's personal attorney, Michael Cohen, was "a big mistake."

The fallout: Stephenson also reportedly announced in the memo that Bob Quinn, AT&T's head lobbyist who oversees the Washington office that Stephenson said failed to properly vet Cohen, is retiring after less than two years in the role.

“To be clear, everything we did was done according to the law and entirely legitimate. But the fact is our past association with Cohen was a serious misjudgment.”
— Stephenson wrote in the memo

The backdrop: AT&T confirmed Tuesday that it contracted a corporation tied to Cohen for insights on the new administration. In total it paid him $600,000, per the New York Times.

  • Timing: Last November, AT&T was sued by the Justice Department in an attempt to block its $85 billion acquisition of Time Warner. In a fact sheet on Cohen's role released Friday, AT&T said it had hired him with an eye towards understanding the administration's approach on "regulatory reform at the FCC, tax reform, and antitrust enforcement, specifically our Time Warner deal."

Go deeper: Corporate America paid Michael Cohen millions, left with nothing

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Politics: Trump says if Biden's elected, "he'll listen to the scientists"Trump calls Fauci a "disaster" on campaign call.
  2. Health: Coronavirus hospitalizations are on the rise — 8 states set single-day coronavirus case records last week.
  3. States: Wisconsin judge reimposes capacity limit on indoor venues.
  4. Media: Trump attacks CNN as "dumb b*stards" for continuing to cover pandemic.
  5. Business: Consumer confidence surveys show Americans are getting nervousHow China's economy bounced back from coronavirus.
  6. Sports: We've entered the era of limited fan attendance.
  7. Education: Why education technology can’t save remote learning.
Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Microphones will be muted during parts of Thursday's presidential debate

Photos: Jim Watson and Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The Commission on Presidential Debates adopted new measures on Monday to mute the microphones of President Trump and Joe Biden to allow each candidate two minutes of uninterrupted time per segment during Thursday night's debate.

Why it matters: During September's chaotic debate, Trump interrupted Biden 71 times, while Biden interrupted Trump 22 times.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Supreme Court denies Pennsylvania GOP request to limit mail-in voting

Protesters outside Supreme Court. Photo: Daniel Slim/AFP via Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Monday denied a request from Pennsylvania's Republican Party to shorten the deadlines for mail-in ballots in the state. Thanks to the court's 4-4 deadlock, ballots can be counted for several days after Election Day.

Why it matters: It's a major win for Democrats that could decide the fate of thousands of ballots in a crucial swing state that President Trump won in 2016. The court's decision may signal how it would deal with similar election-related litigation in other states.