President Donald Trump at a campaign rally at Prescott Regional Airport, Arizona, on October 19, 2020.
- Exxon Mobil has clarified that a hypothetical fundraising conversation described by President Donald Trump between himself and its CEO “never happened.”
- Trump had been bragging about his fundraising abilities at an Arizona campaign event on Monday, saying he could call up CEOs and secure millions for his reelection campaign.
- “I call the head of Exxon, I say ‘you know, I’d love you to send me $25 million for the campaign,'” Trump claimed, then mimicked the CEO saying: “‘Absolutely sir, why didn’t you ask?'”
- Exxon Mobil tweeted after the event: “We are aware of the President’s statement regarding a hypothetical with our CEO … and just so we’re all clear, it never happened.”
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Exxon Mobil has clarified that a hypothetical fundraising conversation between President Donald Trump and its CEO, in which the president asked for and secured $25 million in campaign donations, “never happened.”
The company tweeted the statement after Trump bragged at length about his fundraising abilities at a campaign event in Prescott, Arizona, on Monday, saying he would be “the greatest fundraiser in history.”
He claimed that he could raise “a billion dollars in one day” if he wanted to by calling the CEOs of large Wall Street firms and energy companies.
He then described a hypothetical call between him and the head of Exxon Mobil, which you can see here:
“I call the head of Exxon, I don’t know,” Trump told the crowd. “‘Hi, how you doing, how’s energy coming, when are you doing the exploration. Oh, you need a couple of permits, huh? Ok.'”
“But I call the head of Exxon, I say: ‘You know, I’d love you to send me $25 million for the campaign,'” Trump said, then mimicking the CEO’s hypothetical response: “”Absolutely sir, why didn’t you ask? Would you like some more?'”
Shortly after the event, Exxon Mobil posted a tweet saying: “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
A short version of the clip — isolating the hypothetical conversation dwelling on “permits” and the $25 million request — has given rise to the suggestion that the president was describing a quid pro quo.
But earlier in the speech, he noted that larger donations would make him “compromised.”
“I would take in more money but you know what, I don’t want to do that. Because if I do that I’m totally compromised.
“Because when they call me, you know, you’re a loyal person, and what happens is that you’ll do things that are a lot more money.”
Trump was pushing back at “when the press says” his fundraising is poor, following recent reports that Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s campaign had out-fundraised him by more than $135 million in September.
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