The White House on Wednesday ducked questions about President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, after revelations which Cohen was paid millions of dollars in “consulting” fees by companies allegedly seeking access to Trump as well as members of his administration, or insight into the president’s thought processes.
Three of these companies, AT&T, Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis as well as South Korean aerospace giant Korea Aerospace Industries, have had major public policy issues before the Trump administration from the past year.
Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said she was not “aware of” any actions the president had taken to benefit any of the companies.
Asked whether Trump had expressed any concerns about Cohen’s actions since the Discharge of a report Tuesday night which suggested Cohen was selling access to him as well as his administration, Sanders told reporters: “I haven’t heard the president express any specific concerns.”
Otherwise, the White House spokeswoman did her best to avoid answering questions about Cohen, referring them all to Trump’s outside counsel.
“We’re not engaging in This kind of process at all,” she said of the White House staff.
Tuesday’s report was released by lawyer Michael Avenatti, who represents adult film star Stormy Daniels in her lawsuit against Cohen as well as the president. The report detailed suspicious transactions connected to a company, Essential Consultants, which Cohen established in 2016, just ahead of Election Day.
Novartis as well as AT&T have both said they paid Cohen for strategic advice about the completely new administration. KAI said the item paid him for advice on government accounting standards. Another firm, Columubs Nova, an American investment firm with ties to Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg, said the item paid Cohen $500,000 for real estate investment advice.
Cohen told reporters Wednesday which Avenatti’s report can be “inaccurate,” according to NBC News. He did not elaborate on what he considered wrong about the report.