On Monday, the White House released a statement congratulating ExxonMobil Corp. on the expansion of operations in the Gulf of Mexico and all of the jobs that it would be creating with its new Growing the Gulf project. It's not unusual for the government and a huge multinational corporation to coordinate a statement, but it is unusual for the government to copy and paste language from the corporation's own press release. Unfortunately, that's exactly what happened. Multiple news outlets are reporting that there was a major instance of plagiarism in the White House's release.
Mashable reports that the White House "copied verbatim" from a statement from ExxonMobil. Washington Post reporter Christopher Ingraham noticed that an entire paragraph from the releases was nearly identical. Aside from one change, "U.S." and "United States," it looks like a copy-paste job. The White House's statement came just 30 minutes after ExxonMobil's.
White House press release (left) contains full paragraph copied verbatim from Exxon press release (right). pic.twitter.com/NlhoUvdqvd— Christopher Ingraham (@_cingraham) March 6, 2017
The Huffington Post adds that the White House pulled a line from ExxonMobil's release and didn't attribute it to the company's CEO, Darren Wood.
Here's the original text from ExxonMobil:
"Importantly, Growing the Gulf also creates jobs and lasting economic benefits for the communities where they’re located,” Woods said. “All told, we expect these 11 projects to create over 45,000 jobs. Many of these are high-skilled, high-paying jobs averaging about $100,000 a year. And these jobs will have a multiplier effect, creating many more jobs in the communities that service these new investments. "
And here's the White House's version:
"Exxon Mobil’s projects, once completed and operating at mature levels, are expected to have far-reaching and long-lasting benefits. Projects planned or under way are expected to create more than 35,000 construction jobs and more than 12,000 full-time jobs. These are full-time manufacturing jobs that are mostly high-skilled and high-paying, and have annual salaries ranging from $75,000 to $125,000. These jobs will have a multiplier effect, creating many more jobs in the community that service these new investments. "
The Huffington Post adds that the entire press release could face the same scrutiny as Kellyanne Conway's endorsement of Ivanka Trump's fashion line. Both instances could violate laws that ban federal employees from promoting commercial products and using their influence for personal gain. This doesn't even take into account the fact that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson worked at the company for over 41 years.
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