Even a CNN fact checker made it clear that the clip going around is inaccurate.
For those asking (@waltshaub), here's the full transcript of Trump's remarks about Exxon and fundraising. Again, the clip that's circulating has a misleading caption; Trump's point was that it compromises a president to make personal fundraising calls to big CEOs, so he won't. pic.twitter.com/EuGRwQg6Z1— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) October 19, 2020
And Exxon chimed in to make it known that the hypothetical situation did not take place.
Once more: A) Trump *does* do lots of high-dollar fundraising, but B) He was clearly not admitting here to corruption or an actual deal with Exxon. Carry on.— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) October 19, 2020
Again, Trump explicitly said he was just picking some company for the purpose of his story. https://t.co/wHv2QS0NNL— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) October 19, 2020
During a Make America Great Again rally in Prescott, Arizona on Monday, President Donald Trump posed a hypothetical scenario of quid pro quo, the idea that someone donates to a politician's campaign in exchange for a favor.
"I call the head of Exxon. I don't know but I'll use the company. 'Hi. How you doing? How's energy coming? When are doing the exploration? Oh, you need a couple of permits, huh?' But I call the head of Exxon, I say, 'You know, I'd love you to send me $25 million for the campaign.' 'Absolutely sir. Would you like some more?'" he explained, playing out the scenario. "People make the call, it's different. But, if I made the call, I will hit a home run every single call I would raise $1 billion in one day, if I wanted to. I don't want to do that. I don't wanna do it."
Of course, at least one person in the media – Vox's Aaron Rupar – had to take the quote out of context and not include the entire explanation:
"I call the head of Exxon. I'll use a company. 'How, how are you doing, how's energy coming? When are doing the exploration? Oh, you need a couple of permits, huh?' But I call the head of Exxon, I say, 'you know, I'd love you to send me $25m for the campaign'" - Trump #QuidProQuo pic.twitter.com/Tr1ccpyMzw— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) October 19, 2020
What's amazing is the number of Democrats and lefties that ran with the notion that Trump actually partook in quid pro quo.
Trump's foreign policy is also transactional. "Hi Mr. Dictator, you want to wipe out the Kurds? The ones who fought with American troops against ISIS? No problem, what can you do for me?" Putin & Erdogan have a direct line into @POTUS. We'll soon know why. https://t.co/MbFqBheib2 https://t.co/xEFQPwQJ7a— Anthony Scaramucci (@Scaramucci) October 19, 2020
This. is. illegal. https://t.co/B2CFU6nNA1— Amy Siskind (@Amy_Siskind) October 19, 2020
Conservatives were quick to call Rupar out for his selective editing:
Quid Pro Quo is trending on Twitter because Aaron used this as the caption of his tweet instead of the part in this clip where Trump said he doesn't want to do this sort of thing, and everyone retweeting it isn't bothering to listen to the whole thing. https://t.co/uyPyuZcqU4— JERRY DUNLEAVY (@JerryDunleavy) October 19, 2020
He's saying it's something typical politicians do and explicitly something he'd never do, yet Aaron cuts it to this. Who needs foreign interference when you'd got domestic stooges doing this under the name of "journalism"? BTW, @jack and @twitter are cool with his disinformation. https://t.co/ugYE8RWfoj— Derek Hunter (@derekahunter) October 19, 2020
Word to the wise: if you're going to take something out of context and splice what's said, make the clip shorter. ?? You can LITERALLY hear him talk about this hypothetical as being WRONG. https://t.co/oyMKdaz2eR— Beth Baumann (@eb454) October 19, 2020
He literally says in this clip that this is a hypothetical that he refuses to do because he's not corrupt like Joe Biden.— Andrew Clark ?? (@AndrewHClark) October 19, 2020
Pretty dishonest, even for you. https://t.co/p7djxmw8dk
Who needs Russians for misinformation when you've got Aaron here misleading hundreds of thousands of people at at time.— Matt Whitlock (@mattdizwhitlock) October 19, 2020
What Aaron left of his tweet: "I don't want to do that. If I do that, I'm totally compromised."
People. 15 days before an election. Stop blindly retweeting. https://t.co/9ioKbphF2N
Trump didn't engage in quid pro quo. He was using an example of the kind of shady dealings politicians typically make. Instead of making those kind of deals, the real estate giant used his own money to finance the majority of his original campaign for the 2016 Republican nomination.
It's these kind of half-truths, however, that cause a great divide in our nation. People will see Rupar's blue check mark, read the quote and assume that's what Trump said. If you don't listen to the clip, it sounds very bad, especially because the full quote isn't included. But this is the definition of making a mountain out of a molehill. And it's serious, especially when we have issues about corruption (with Joe and Hunter Biden) on teh table. This just piles on Americans' distaste for politics – and it's for no good reason.