Swiss drug maker Novartis was questioned over ties to Trump attorney

This image released by NBC shows adult film actress Stormy Daniels during an appearance on

This image released by NBC shows adult film actress Stormy Daniels during an appearance on"Saturday Night Live in New York on Saturday

In a tweet and a report, Avenatti said that Cohen described Essential as a real estate consulting firm and claimed its typical clients are USA -based high net worth individuals.

The pharmaceutical company Novartis acknowledged Wednesday that it paid Trump fixer Michael Cohen more than $1 million starting past year and that the company has cooperated with special counsel Robert Mueller's investigators. Novartis was contacted in November 2017 by lawyers from the Special Counsel's office regarding the company's agreement with Essential Consultants.

After only one meeting, however, executives concluded Cohen "would be unable to provide the services that Novartis had anticipated", according to the company, and decided "not to engage further".

Subsequent to questioning, Cohen has claimed he paid Daniels with his own money.

A Swiss pharmaceutical giant that paid President Trump's personal attorney hundreds of thousands of dollars was questioned by special counsel Robert Mueller late past year, the company acknowledged Wednesday. (Cohen has repeatedly denied that he committed any wrongdoing.) An attorney for Cohen, Steve Ryan, told reporter Natasha Bertrand, "I understand the shorthand you're using, but it wasn't a payment". His home and offices were searched in surprise raids by Federal Bureau of Investigation agents last month. Trump said he reimbursed Cohen. A Novartis statement said the company hired Cohen's firm before Narasimhan became CEO in September.

Korea Aerospace Industries did not immediately respond for comment.

The Times cited banking records in an article about money flows into an account opened in October 2016 by Trump attorney and fixer Michael Cohen.

Korea Aerospace, which is seeking to sell its planes in the USA, hired Cohen's entity for advice on local accounting standards and sent a single payment of $150,000 when the work was completed, a spokesman confirmed Wednesday, adding the contract was legal.

CNN reported on Tuesday that Mueller questioned Vekselberg about the payments to Cohen.

The memo from Avenatti states that Cohen's account received roughly $500,000 in payments from Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg between January and August 2017.

Other companies named in the Avenatti report, for example, AT&T and Columbus Nova, have not contested that payments were made to Essential Consultants, LLC.

The company also said it has been questioned by special counsel Robert Mueller 's team about the payments to Cohen. He has not been accused of any wrongdoing. A company spokesperson said it had contracted Trump's attorney to "provide insights into understanding the new administration".

Cohen is a key figure in the examination of how porn star Stormy Daniels was given $130,000 to keep private an affair she and Trump shared in 2006. The arrangement was later disclosed by reporters.

However, the contract was for a year, the source told Reuters, meaning AT&T likely paid more than $200,000 to Cohen's company.

Novartis also noted that its connection to Essential Consultants predated its new CEO, Vas Narasimhan, who took the helm February 1 after serving as chief medial officer and global head of drug development.

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