Updated May 12, 2018

Timeline: Michael Cohen's week of woes

Photo: Yana Paskova/Getty Images

Michael Cohen can't get out of the spotlight. After scrutiny of how he handled the Stormy Daniels payment, he's back in the news for payments he received from companies to advise on the Trump administration policies.

Why it matters: The man who once served as President Trump's ultimate fixer is creating a long list of problems.

Worth noting: The companies that paid Cohen say he didn't provide the insight they paid for. Axios' Dan Primack notes, "The main thing the companies bought themselves was a major P.R. headache, with nothing to show for it."

Tuesday, May 8:

  • Stormy Daniels' lawyer, Michael Avenatti, announces on Twitter that Michael Cohen received money from New York private equity firm Columbus Nova. He later posts a longer report detailing payments to Cohen from other firms including AT&T and Novartis.
  • Late Tuesday, AT&T confirms that it paid Cohen's firm — Essential Consultants, the same shell company that orchestrated the Stormy Daniels settlement — for "insights into understanding the new administration." The payments totaled to $600,000.

Wednesday, May 9:

  • Novartis admits to paying Cohen $1.2 million for advice about the Trump administration’s health policy agenda. However, executives figured out after just one meeting that Cohen “would be unable to provide the services that Novartis had anticipated,” the company says in a statement.
    • The pharmaceutical giant's payment to Cohen was excessive by D.C. standards. STAT reports that there "weren’t any contracts under which an individual company paid a single lobbying firm [as much as] $1.2 million in 2017."
  • Special Counsel Bob Mueller's investigative team contacted AT&T in late 2017 about the Cohen payment, a company spokesperson says. AT&T says it cooperated fully with the investigation.
  • Columbus Nova, a private equity firm whose primary investor is Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg — one of the Russians sanctioned by the Treasury Department — acknowledges that it paid Cohen $500,000.

Thursday, May 10:

  • The Washington Post reports that AT&T's payment to Cohen was to advise on their proposed $85 billion merger with Time Warner, which the Justice Department filed a suit to block in November.

Friday, May 11:

  • AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson tells employees in a memo that hiring Cohen was a mistake. “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," he writes.
  • Cohen reached out to Ford Motor Company as well, reports the Wall Street Journal. He offered consulting services, touting access to Trump, and Ford swiftly rejected the offer. Mueller has approached Ford for records of the company's conversations with Cohen, per the Journal.
  • Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani tells HuffPost that Trump wasn't aware of Cohen's consulting gigs, adding that the president himself had a role in the decision to sue to block the AT&T–Time Warner merger.

Go deeper: The Michael Cohen avalanche ... Michael Avenatti trumps Trump

Go deeper

In photos: Deadly Storm Dennis lashes U.K., Ireland and western France

A family is rescued from a property in Nantgarw, Wales, on Sunday. The storm comes a week after the U.K. was battered by storm Ciara, which killed two people, per the BBC. Photo: Matthew Horwood/Getty Images

Storm Dennis continued to pummel parts of England, Wales and Ireland over Sunday night with heavy rain after battering Northern Ireland and Scotland, per the official British weather agency the Met Office.

Why it matters: It's the second-strongest nontropical storm ever recorded in the North Atlantic Ocean, with its hurricane-force winds and heavy rains that caused widespread flooding across the U.K., the Washington Post notes. Police in Wales confirmed Sunday they found the body of a man who fell into a river as the storm lashed Ystradgynlais.

See photosArrow58 mins ago - World

Sanders accuses Bloomberg of trying to "buy" the 2020 election

Sen. Bernie Sanders and Mike Bloomberg. Photos: Drew Angerer; Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Sen. Bernie Sanders tore into 2020 rival Michael Bloomberg at a Las Vegas campaign event Saturday, saying the billionaire and former New York mayor is trying to "buy the presidency" by paying millions of dollars in advertising.

Why it matters: Bloomberg has surged in national polling recently, having poured millions of dollars into campaign ads largely targeting Trump. His candidacy has become an obvious foil for Sanders, whose grassroots campaign railing against billionaires and the establishment has vaulted him to front-runner status.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus cases rise, as more Americans on cruise confirmed ill

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's NHC; Note: China refers to mainland China and the Diamond Princess is the cruise ship offshore Yokohama, Japan. Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

A U.S. public health official confirms more than 40 Americans on the Diamond Princess cruise ship off Japan have coronavirus, while the remaining U.S. citizens without symptoms are being evacuated.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed at least 1,770 people and infected almost 70,000 others. Most cases and all but five of the deaths have occurred in mainland China. Taiwan confirmed its first death on Sunday, per multiple reports, in a 61-year-old man with underlying health conditions. Health officials were investigating how he became ill.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 5 hours ago - Health