Novartis CEO: $1.2 Million Deal With Michael Cohen Was ‘a Mistake’

The chief executive of Novartis—which paid President Donald Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen $1.2 million dollars to gain White House access—sent an email to his staff on Thursday, calling the move a “mistake,” according to STAT News. “We made a mistake entering into this engagement and as a consequence are being criticized by a world that expects more from us,” CEO Vasant Narasimhan wrote. “Personally, for my family it was also a difficult day as unfounded stories spread through the U.S. news… I went to sleep frustrated and tired.” A senior employee at the company told STAT News that staff “feel disgusted” by the news, and said they are “angry and confused, because it makes all of us look bad.” Novartis has publicly stated that it paid $100,000 per month to Cohen as part of a one-year contract, but only took one meeting with him after realizing that Cohen couldn’t deliver what he promised. The company said it decided to let the contract lapse rather than try to cancel it.