Exxon Had to Officially Deny Trump Called Them to Offer a Favor for Campaign Cash After Bonkers Rally Rant
Last year, President Donald Trump was impeached for using the power of the Oval Office to benefit his reelection chances.
The White House was holding up congressionally approved aid to Ukraine when Trump spoke to its newly elected President. Trump asked him to "do us a favor" and investigate former Vice President Joe Biden's ties to an energy company there, falsely claiming Biden improperly used his office to oust a prosecutor investigating the company.
Trump fervently denounced the existence of a "quid pro quo," but at a rally on Monday, the President presented a hypothetical that sparked more concerns about similar White House corruption.
President Trump boasts about his fund-raising abilities, saying he could call up the head of Exxon for a donation. Exxon later says: "Just so we're all clear, it never happened." https://t.co/V3LbGisjj8 pic.twitter.com/nCVOhDctHR
— Bloomberg Politics (@bpolitics) October 20, 2020
The President was lamenting Biden's recent record-breaking campaign donations, insisting that he could raise those kinds of funds too if he were to use his executive powers.
"But when I started calling, I would be the greatest fundraiser in history ... So I call some guy at the head of Exxon, I called ahead of Exxon, I don't know, I'll use a company. 'Hi, how you doing? How's the energy coming? When are you doing the exploration? Oh, you need a couple of permits. Huh? Okay.' But I call the head of Exxon, I say, 'I'd love you to send me $25 million for the campaign.'"
The clip generated confusion at first, with many thinking that Trump was using an actual example.
This led the oil company used in the President's hypothetical, ExxonMobil, to issue a statement insisting that the President never spoke to them.
We are aware of the President's statement regarding a hypothetical call with our CEO…and just so we're all clear, it never happened.
— ExxonMobil (@exxonmobil) October 19, 2020
Again, Trump was lambasted for fueling chaos with off-the-cuff statements and not recognizing the power of his words while in office.
Consider where we are right now.
EXXON MOBIL needed to tell the world that what the current President of the United States said something untrue https://t.co/6jPZMhLOmc
— Stephanie Ruhle (@SRuhle) October 20, 2020
Just another perfectly normal day in a perfectly normal country with a perfectly normal president https://t.co/kymTxszX7d
— Tom Nichols (@RadioFreeTom) October 19, 2020
What a world. Exxon has to issue a statement denying a pay-to-play scenario that was laid out by the President at a rally! https://t.co/tS0g0ktlh2
— Abby D. Phillip (@abbydphillip) October 19, 2020
We are now in the Twilight Zone of politics. https://t.co/fLPHwOpqQt
— Claire McCaskill (@clairecmc) October 20, 2020
This is an actual tweet that our disgrace of a president forced an actual company to have to issue in real life. https://t.co/ooOpDnI7aQ
— Walter Shaub (@waltshaub) October 19, 2020
While the situation was hypothetical, some had no doubt that Trump wouldn't hesitate to execute it in real life.
Exxon Mobil, after Trump's fundraising remarks, says its CEO and Trump had no phone call
Trump sends a loud and clear message to CEOs of big corporations that he can be bought. This confirms what we've known all along.
— 🖕🏻Aunt Crabby calls Bullshit 🖕🏻 (@DearAuntCrabby) October 20, 2020
BREAKING: Trump brags about being able to break the law to raise millions from Exxon "if he wanted to"
— James Kosur (@JamesKosur) October 19, 2020
Trump is now in Prescott, AZ giving the exact details of how he would enact another #QuidProQuo with Exxon in exchange for $25 million in campaign donations. If he was willing to do this with Ukraine, I have no doubt he's done it with US corporations. https://t.co/4txFW8AYXo
— Amee Vanderpool (@girlsreallyrule) October 19, 2020
Trump's former Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, was the CEO of ExxonMobil until his appointment at the White House.