Rex Tillerson, the new Secretary of State, was the former head of fossil fuel giant ExxonMobil and close friend to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Both of these factors were enough to cause massive concern amongst both Democrats and Republicans alike, but Tillerson squeezed through the vetting process and is now the top American diplomat in the land.
People worrying about conflicts of interest still have good reasons to be concerned. The Trump administration's push for more coal and oil in America’s energy mix is made all the easier with the former Exxon CEO in the Cabinet, and it appears that the President himself has recently taken to openly praising the company on Twitter.
Now, as reported by the Washington Post, the White House press team has taken a literal page out of ExxonMobil’s book by plagiarizing from the company’s own press release. Spicer and co. are currently about as good at their jobs as a horse armed with a paintbrush, but copying? Come on guys, that’s grade-school stuff.
In a statement dated March 6, the White House noted that “President Donald J. Trump today congratulated Exxon Mobil Corporation on its ambitious $20 billion investment program that is creating more than 45,000 construction and manufacturing jobs in the United States Gulf Coast region.”
“This is a true American success story,” Trump said. Indeed, this was the initiative that he recently spoke about on Twitter.
However, there’s a problem with this – a good chunk of this press release was lifted ad verbatim from an official ExxonMobil press release. For some reason, the White House and ExxonMobil decided to release statements, focusing on precisely the same topic of discourse, at exactly the same time.
It is extremely likely, of course, that this is not a coincidence. The White House could have at least tried to rewrite the paragraph to make it their own a little, but they were too lazy even to do that. Or does ExxonMobil now tell the White House what to say?
We shouldn’t even be too happy with the investment either. There are plenty more jobs waiting to be taken in the booming renewable energy sector than there is in the fossil fuel industry, but instead, the focus is on occupations that will help change the climate for the worse.
And yes, new jobs are a good thing, but this ExxonMobil program has been running since 2013, so it’s got nothing to do with Trump at all.
Some might say that he’s highlighting it now to make it look like jobs are on the up under his watch – when in fact, the record streak of job creation America is currently experiencing is down to the hard work of his predecessor.
[H/T: Washington Post]