Oct 20, 2020 - Politics & Policy

ExxonMobil on Trump's hypothetical phone call: "It never happened"

President Donald Trump speaks at a Make America Great Again campaign rally on October 19

President Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Prescott, Arizona, on Monday. Photo: Caitlin O'Hara/Getty Images

ExxonMobil issued a statement Monday denying anyone from the company had spoken with President Trump after he used the firm as an example of how he could use his position to out-raise his Democratic rival Joe Biden.

What they're 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," Exxon said.

Driving the news: Trump said at a rally in Arizona on Monday afternoon, "All I have to do is call up the head of every Wall Street firm, head of every major company, the head of every major energy company, 'Do me a favor, send me $10 million for my campaign.'

  • "'Yes, sir.' They say the only thing is, 'Why didn't you ask for more, sir?'" he said, stressing he would not accept such money "because if I do that I'm totally compromised."
  • He went on to give the hypothetical example of calling up "some guy, the head of Exxon.
  • "I call the head of Exxon. I don't know," he said, adding that he could say, "How are you doing? How’s energy coming? When are you doing the exploration? Oh, you need a couple of permits?”
  • Trump went on to say he could ask for him "to send me $25 million for the campaign," to which he said the executive would reply: "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."

Of note: Biden's campaign has significantly out-raised that of Trump's for the past two months.

  • Trump's re-election campaign announced earlier this month that it and its joint fund-raising committees raised $247.8 million in September. Biden's fund-raising efforts brought in $383 million for the same period — a figure believed to be a record for any presidential candidate.
  • The Trump administration did not immediately respond to Axios' request for comment.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with more details and further context on Trump's comments about fund-raising.

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