Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen called Novartis’ CEO promising access to the president — then they made a $1.2 million deal

“President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen last year reached out to Joe Jimenez, then the CEO of the pharmaceutical company Novartis, promising help gaining access to Trump, according to an employee inside Novartis familiar with the matter.”

From Business Insider:

The curious relationship between one of the world’s biggest drugmakers and President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer began early last year when Michael Cohen, a longtime fixer for the president, reached out to Novartis’ then-CEO Joe Jimenez, promising help gaining access to Trump and influential officials in the new administration, according to an employee inside Novartis familiar with the matter.

Jimenez took the call and then instructed his team to reach a deal with Cohen. A one-year contract worth $1.2 million was signed with Cohen in February 2017. The company’s hope was that Cohen could help it navigate a bevy of uncertain issues facing the drugmaker — from potential changes to the Affordable Care Act and tax reform to navigating reimbursement challenges for medicines.

“He reached out to us,” the Novartis employee said, providing STAT with the company’s version of events as it scrambles to contain the fallout from being entangled in the investigations surrounding Trump and his inner circle, including Cohen.

“With a new administration coming in, basically, all the traditional contacts disappeared, and they were all new players,” this person said. “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.”

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