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AT&T confirms part of Avenatti’s claim — says it paid Trump lawyer Michael Cohen for ‘insight’ into Trump administration

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AT&T on Tuesday admitted it paid Essential Consultants LLC, Michael Cohen’s private company, for “insight into understanding” Donald Trump’s administration.

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Essential Consultants LLC, founded by Cohen in October 2016, is the same company used to pay adult film star Stormy Daniels $130,000 in a hush payment prior to the election.

The AT&T statement follows a release by Daniel’s lawyer, Michael Avenatti, alleging a $500,000 payment to Cohen from Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg. In that release, Avenatti also flagged other suspicious transactions involving Cohen, including AT&T’s.

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Tuesday, CNN reported that special counsel Robert Mueller has questioned Vekselberg about payments to Cohen.


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2020 Election

Trump campaign ramps up smear campaign on Obama’s ebola czar for exposing the president’s COVID-19 bumbling: report

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Stung by a highly effective video he made for Vice President Joe Biden criticizing Donald Trump's response to the growing COVID-19 pandemic, the communications team working on the president's re-election is going after President Barack Obama's former ebola czar, Ron Klain.

Klain, who is now becoming a fixture on cable news, took part in a video ad touting the campaign of Biden, and used his expertise to rip into the Trump administration's efforts to deal with the national health crisis. That put a target on his back as the president's 2020 campaign team is trying to stem the damage that threatens the president's chances of being re-elected in November.

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Trump ignored advice to tell country the coronavirus pandemic was ‘bad and could get very worse’ in early March: report

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According to a day-by-day examination of the White House efforts to get up to speed on dealing with the growing coronavirus pandemic that has now brought the country to an almost complete standstill, Politico reports that Donald Trump was advised in early March to warn the public things were about to get worse and chose to ignore that advice.

The report notes that the final realization about the dangerous spread of COVID-19 preceded the president's rare prime time address to the nation.

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Why the novel coronavirus became a social media nightmare

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The biggest reputational risk Facebook and other social media companies had expected in 2020 was fake news surrounding the US presidential election. Be it foreign or domestic in origin, the misinformation threat seemed familiar, perhaps even manageable.

The novel coronavirus, however, has opened up an entirely different problem: the life-endangering consequences of supposed cures, misleading claims, snake-oil sales pitches and conspiracy theories about the outbreak.

So far, AFP has debunked almost 200 rumors and myths about the virus, but experts say stronger action from tech companies is needed to stop misinformation and the scale at which it can be spread online.

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