Who owns ExxonMobil? Here's a look at firm's links with Trump as it denies fundraising call: 'It never happened'

At his Arizona rally, Trump spoke of a 'hypothetical' call with ExxonMobil CEO to raise $25M for his campaign and the firm wasted no time in clarifying that such a was never made


                            Who owns ExxonMobil? Here's a look at firm's links with Trump as it denies fundraising call: 'It never happened'
Donald Trump and Darren W Woods (Getty Images/ExxonMobil)

On Monday, October 19, at the Arizona rally, President Donald Trump claimed he can raise more funds than his Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden if he just reached out to Wall Street executives. Calling himself the "greatest fundraiser in history", POTUS said, according to CBS News, "'Do me a favor, send $10 million for my campaign.' 'Yes sir.' They say, 'The only thing is, why didn't you ask for more, sir?' I would be — I would take in more money, but you now 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 hey, you know, you'll do things that are a lot more money....

POTUS then went on to give an example of a phone call, which has since been dubbed 'hypothetical'. "So I call some guy, the head of Exxon. I call the head of Exxon, I don't know, you know. I'll use a company. 'Hi, how are you doing? How's energy coming? when are you doing the exploration? Oh, you need a couple of permits, huh? Okay.' But I call the head of Exxon, I say, 'You know, I'd love you to send me $25 million dollars for the campaign. 'Absolutely, sir, why didn't you ask?'" Trump added, "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."

Later, ExxonMobil clarified the ‘hypothetical’ phone call and tweeted, "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."



 

Who owns ExxonMobil?

ExxonMobil was formed in 1999 after the merger of two major oil companies, Exxon and Mobil. Exxon and Mobil both merged out of Standard Oil, which was established by John D Rockefeller and partners in 1870 as the Standard Oil Company of Ohio. Following a Supreme Court judgment in 1911, Standard Oil dissolved into 34 companies and two of these were Jersey Standard (Standard Oil Co. of New Jersey), which eventually became Exxon, and Socony (Standard Oil Co. of New York), which eventually became Mobil.

In 2015, the New York Attorney General launched an investigation into whether ExxonMobil's statements misled the public and investors about the risks of climate change.  In 2018, based on this investigation, ExxonMobil was sued by the State of New York, which claimed the company deceived shareholders by downplaying the risks of climate change for its businesses. However, in December 2019, the New York Supreme Court issued a ruling in favor of Exxon Mobil Corporation.

The current CEO of the company is Darren W Woods.

History with Trump and his administration

In 2016, CEO of ExxonMobil, Rex Tillerson, was nominated as Secretary of State by Trump. In 2017, as reported by USA Today, ExxonMobil did business with Iran, Syria and Sudan through a European subsidiary while Trump’s nominee for secretary of State was a top executive of the company and those countries were under US sanctions as state sponsors of terrorism, Securities and Exchange Commission filings show. But the company told USA Today the transactions were legal because Infineum was a joint venture with Shell Corporation and was based in Europe and the transactions did not involve any US employees.

In 2017, as reported by Reuters, ExxonMobil sued the US government for the $2M fine imposed against it for a three-year-old oil joint venture with Russia’s Rosneft. The report details, the fine came after a US review of deals that Exxon had signed with Rosneft, Russia’s largest oil producer. The deal was signed weeks after Washington imposed sanctions on Moscow for occupying Ukraine’s Crimea region.

As per the report, between May 14 and May 23, 2014, top US-based Exxon executives signed eight documents with Igor Sechin, the head of state-run Rosneft – this was said in a statement by the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) on its website. OFAC said Exxon had “demonstrated reckless disregard for US sanctions requirements” by signing the deals with Sechin. In April 2014, the Treasury had imposed sanctions on Sechin as part of measures to pressure Russia over its intervention in Ukraine. It was said that Sechin had shown “utter loyalty” to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
 
Reuters reported that in its 21-page complaint, Exxon argued that Sechin “was subject to sanctions only in his individual capacity” and the Obama administration guidance at the time made clear that the sanctions “applied only to the ‘personal assets’ of the sanctioned individuals and emphasized that the sanctions did not restrict business with the companies those individuals managed".

Twitter reactions

After Trump’s statements and clarification by ExxonMobil, Twitter started discussing the matter. One said, "Trump is such a fraud that even Exxon Oil has to issue a statement." A user reasoned, "Most people with common sense understands that he was speaking hypothetically and people with a half of a brain understand that Exxon or President Trump tried to make any kind of a deal he was hypothetically speaking about fundraising and how people of power use it to get $."

Another user opined, “I don't understand the hypothetical? Is he saying he does this all the time and its just a blur at this point? Or the fact that Exxon feels so compelled to distance themselves? The whole thing... is troubling." One stated, "Of course it never happened but I'm wondering whether this was Trump's coded message to Exxon that for a 25 million dollar campaign donation, he'd give them anything they want.” A user commented, “This is a corporation people. Exxon sees the writing in the wall and knows Trump is not getting elected."



 



 



 



 



 

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