Exxon Mobile is disputing Trump’s account of a conversation he says he had with the head of the oil and gas company, whom the president claims agreed to send him a big-dollar campaign donation.
“So I call some guy, the head of Exxon. I call the head of Exxon. I don’t know,” Trump said at a rally he held in Arizona on Monday. “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,” Trump continued. “I would raise a billion dollars in one day if I wanted to. I don’t want to do that.”
A few hours later, Exxon Mobil tweeted that the company was “aware” of the president’s boasting about a “hypothetical call” with its CEO: “Just so we’re all clear, it never happened.”
To some, apparently, this was an epic own. A New York Daily News headline reads in part “Exxon claps back at Trump for comments on raising money from billionaires with a phone call...” (Emphasis mine.) And Resistance-core Twitter was predictably peppered with jokes about how Exxon exposed yet another one of the president’s lies. “The plotline of 2020 is now officially impossible for humans to imagine,” MSNBC host Rachel Maddow wrote on Twitter Monday night, quote-tweeting Exxon’s statement.
Sure, it’s a lot of fun when the president gets owned. But to pretend for a moment that Exxon and Trump are anything but bosom friends is laughable. (Though I of course accept “Welcome to the Resistance” jokes.) After all, former Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson served as Trump’s Secretary of State for more than a year.
Exxon paved the way for the Trump administration’s climate denial regime, not just by withholding evidence of climate change that the company discovered as early as 1977, but by actively funding deniers for at least three decades after.
There are no heroes in this story! But you know that.