New York, 20 October 2020 (dpa/MIA) — Oil giant ExxonMobil on Monday said that its chief executive officer never had a “hypothetical” quid pro quo phone call with US President Donald Trump which the president played out during a rally earlier in the day.
“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,” the oil company said on Twitter.
During a campaign rally in Prescott, Arizona, Trump said he could easily fundraise more than his opponent in the upcoming US election, Joe Biden, if he reached out to major executives in the country personally.
“When I start calling, I would be the greatest fundraiser in history. Don’t forget I’m not bad at that stuff anyway. And I am president,” Trump said, before playing out a call with Exxon’s chief.
“So I call some guy, the head of Exxon… I don’t know… I say ‘Hi, how are you doing? How is energy coming? When are you doing the exploration? Oh, you need a couple of permits, uh?'” Trump said.
“I call the head of Exxon and say, ‘You know, I’d love [for you] to send me 25 million dollars for the campaign,'” the president said, then playing out the executive’s hypothetical response: “Absolutely sir, while we are here would you like some more?”
Democratic lawmaker Ted Lieu saying the conduct described by the president “is a felony punishable with prison time.”