White House statement copied an entire paragraph from Exxon Mobil press release

A White House statement congratulating ExxonMobil on a new expansion copied more than an entire paragraph directly from the oil giant’s own press release, a reporter found on Monday.

The ExxonMobil release, published at 3:10 p.m. EST, touted the company’s plan to invest $US20 billion over 10 years while creating 45,000 jobs.

Thirty-four minutes later, the White House posted its own statement featuring suspiciously similar language.

First discovered by Washington Post reporter Christopher Ingram, the similarities include an entire paragraph copied nearly word-for-word, as well as another sentence that the White House lifted nearly verbatim.

The White House statement included minor deviations from the original, such as changing “U.S.” to “United States.”

Read the sections in question for yourself. Here’s ExxonMobil’s:

ExxonMobil is strategically investing in new refining and chemical-manufacturing projects in the U.S. Gulf Coast region to expand its manufacturing and export capacity. The company’s Growing the Gulf expansion program, consists of 11 major chemical, refining, lubricant and liquefied natural gas projects at proposed new and existing facilities along the Texas and Louisiana coasts. Investments began in 2013 and are expected to continue through at least 2022.

Followed by the White House’s:

Exxon Mobil is strategically investing in new refining and chemical-manufacturing projects in the United States Gulf Coast region to expand its manufacturing and export capacity. The company’s Growing the Gulf program consists of 11 major chemical, refining, lubricant and liquefied natural gas projects at proposed new and existing facilities along the Texas and Louisiana coasts. Investments began in 2013 and are expected to continue through at least 2022.

The other sentence that appeared in both statements was a quote from ExxonMobil CEO Darren Woods. In his company’s release, he’s quoted as saying: “And these jobs will have a multiplier effect, creating many more jobs in the communities that service these new investments.”

Meanwhile, the White House release said: “These jobs will have a multiplier effect, creating many more jobs in the community that service these new investments.” The line was not written in quotation marks and did not attribute the quote to Woods.

Journalists immediately jumped on the apparent gaffe. Some noted President Donald Trump’s close ties to ExxonMobil, whose former CEO Rex Tillerson was confirmed as secretary of state last month.

Others compared it to accusations of plagiarism that have caused embarrassment for┬ámembers of Trump’s team and people once nominated for Cabinet positions, including EPA head Scott Pruitt, first lady Melania Trump, and Monica Crowley, who Trump picked for the National Security Council. Crowley later bowed out.

Copying and pasting aside, the White House’s choice to take credit for the ExxonMobil expansion left some people scratching their heads. As The Washington Post pointed out, ExxonMobil launched the investment plan back in 2013, long before Trump ran for office.

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