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Michael Cohen, personal lawyer and confidante for President Donald Trump, exits the United States District Court Southern District of New York. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

AT&T late Tuesday confirmed that it had contracted a corporation tied to Trump lawyer Michael Cohen and his alleged payment to adult entertainer Stormy Daniels.

Why it matters: AT&T is currently locked in a court battle with the Trump Justice Department, which sued to block its proposed $85 billion merger of Time Warner a month before AT&T says it ended the relationship with the Cohen LLC.

What they're saying: "Essential Consultants was one of several firms we engaged in early 2017 to provide insights into understanding the new administration. They did no legal or lobbying work for us, and the contract ended in December 2017," said an AT&T spokesperson.

Stormy Daniels' lawyer Michael Avenatti released a document on Tuesday detailing payments to Essential Consultants, LLC. The firm is at the center of Avenatti's claim that Cohen paid of Daniels over an alleged affair between the actress and Trump.

  • The document alleges that AT&T made four payments to the company, the first in October, 2017 and the last one in early January, 2018, totaling $200,000. The Justice Department sued to block the Time Warner merger in November, 2017.

Go deeper

1 hour ago - Health

Standardized testing becomes another pandemic victim

Photo: Edmund D. Fountain for The Washington Post via Getty

National standardized reading and math tests have been pushed from next year to 2022, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) announced Wednesday.

Why it matters: There’s mounting national evidence that students are suffering major setbacks this year, with a surge in the number of failing grades.

1 hour ago - World

European countries extend lockdowns

A medical worker takes a COVID-19 throat swab sample at the Berlin-Brandenburg Airport. Photo by Maja Hitij via Getty

Recent spikes in COVID-19 infections across Europe have led authorities to extend restrictions ahead of the holiday season.

Why it matters: "Relaxing too fast and too much is a risk for a third wave after Christmas," said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

2 hours ago - Health

Africa CDC: Vaccines likely won't be available until Q2 of 2021

Africa CDC director Dr. John Nkengasong. Photo: Mohammed Abdu Abdulbaqi/Anadolu Agency via Getty

Africa may have to wait until the second quarter of 2021 to roll out vaccines, Africa CDC director John Nkengasong said Thursday, according to the Associated Press.

Why it matters: “I have seen how Africa is neglected when drugs are available,” Nkengasong said.

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