A new report from Stat News reveals that longtime Trump "fixer" Michael Cohen promised pharmaceutical giant Novartis direct access to President Donald Trump in exchange for cash.
According to a source within the company, Cohen approached them last year and let them know he could set up meetings between the company and Trump administration officials, including the president himself.
"He reached out to us," the source claimed. "With a new administration coming in, basically, all the traditional contacts disappeared and they were all new players. We were trying to find an inroad into the administration. Cohen promised access to not just Trump, but also the circle around him. It was almost as if we were hiring him as a lobbyist."
Of course, Cohen is not a registered lobbyist, which could put the company's payment to him in murky legal territory.
Additionally, Stat News' source would not explain why it agreed to pay Cohen a full $1.2 million without proof that he could really deliver access to Trump, since he did not have a background in health care or deep contacts in Washington DC.
As it turned out, Cohen could not secure Novartis the access it desired, meaning it spent over a million dollars for nothing.
"This episode was clearly a mistake," Stat News' source says.