Rudy Giuliani says Trump “denied” AT&T-Time Warner merger

President Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani told HuffPost Friday that Mr. Trump “denied the merger” between AT&T and Time Warner, which contracits the White House and the Department of Justice earlier statements that the president was not involved. Giuliani’s comments come after it was revealed AT&T’s senior executive vice president of external and legislative affairs, Bob Quinn, was involved in agreeing to pay Cohen a reported $600,000 for what the company called “insights” into the Trump administration’s positions on telecom regulation, tax reform and other issues. “Whatever lobbying was done didn’t reach the president,” Giuliani told HuffPost. “He did drain the swamp … The president denied the merger. They didn’t get the result they wanted.” AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said Friday that hiring Cohen was a “big mistake.”  Mr. Trump vowed during the 2016 campaign to stop the merger, but Mr. Trump’s adviser Kellyanne Conway told CBS News last year the White House isn’t involved in the Justice Department’s antitrust review of the merger. An official in the agency’s antitrust division also said the White House was not directed it on how to proceed on the transaction. The Department of Justice in November sued to stop AT&T’s proposed $85.4 billion acquisition of Time Warner, saying the merger would harm competition, lessen innovation and result in higher costs for consumers.  Giuliani wasn’t part of Mr. Trump’s team at the time, so it’s unclear how he would know if there was any involvement by Mr. Trump.  Former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti tweeted Friday that this was “major news” if Giuliani “didn’t misspeak.”

Giuliani gave two other interviews on Friday. Giuliani told The Associated Press on Friday that any preparation with Mr. Trump for a possible interview with federal investigators would likely be delayed until after the June 12 summit in Singapore because “I wouldn’t want to take his concentration off something far, far more important.”  Giuliani said the question of the interview would be resolved by May 17, the one-year anniversary of special counsel Robert Mueller’s appointment, but “several things delayed us, with the primary one being the whole situation with North Korea.” “The president has been very busy,” Giuliani said. “It really would be pretty close to impossible to spend the amount of time on it we would need.”   Giuliani also suggested to the AP that special counsel Mueller’s team indicated it would not attempt to indict Mr. Trump.