“Essential Consulting was one of several firms we engaged in early 2017 to provide insights into understanding the new administration,” the company said. “They did no legal or lobbying work for us, and the contract ended in December 2017.”
But as many observers pointed out, the payment raises troubling questions about pay-for-play. AT&T’s business was highly relevant to decisions Trump made during his first year in office, including his administration’s moves on net neutrality and its actions against a proposed merger between AT&T and Time Warner.
Cody Fenwick is a reporter and editor. Follow him on Twitter @codytfenwick.