Exxon after Trump fundraising comment: ‘Just so we’re all clear, it never happened’
Exxon Mobil on Monday sought to clarify a “hypothetical” conversation mentioned by President Trump at a campaign rally in which Trump said he could easily call on the company’s executive to raise millions in campaign contributions.
“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 tweeted just a few hours after the rally.
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
At the rally in Arizona on Monday afternoon, Trump had said he could easily out-fundraise Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden if he just reached out to oil and Wall Street executives.
“Don’t forget, I’m not bad at that stuff anyway, and I’m president. So I call some guy, the head of Exxon. I call the head of Exxon. I don’t know,” Trump said before playing out a conversation.
“How are you doing? How’s energy coming? When are you doing the exploration? Oh, you need a couple of permits?” he said. “When I call the head of Exxon I say, ‘You know, I’d love [for you] to send me $25 million for the campaign.’ ‘Absolutely sir.’ ”
“I will hit a home run every single call. I would raise a billion dollars in one day if I wanted to. I don’t want to do that,” he said.
Trump had made the comment as a theoretical scenario as he discussed fundraising at the rally. Trump has trailed Biden in fundraising totals heading toward the final two weeks of the campaign.
Federal law prohibits soliciting campaign contributions in exchange for specific policy outcomes or other quid pro quos.