Cenk Uygur, host and founder of online progressive newscaster The Young Turks, spoke yesterday about how President Donald Trump has decided to heap "praise" upon Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE: XOM), the company for which his secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, served as chief executive officer, right up until he accepted Trump's nomination. It has been noted that Rex Tillerson is a close, personal friend of Russian President Vladimir Putin, and that sanctions enacted against Russia by the administration of former President Barack Obama were responsible for blocking a $500 billion oil deal, which the secretary of state was instrumental in negotiating.

The TYT host described BuzzFeed's reporting that President Trump began a "media blitz" shortly after meeting with the former Exxon Mobil CEO, who was at one time the largest single owner of XOM stock. Mr. Uygur asked if Trump was truly "complimentary" about Exxon Mobil in a recent address. TYT then played a clip of the president speaking.

Trump accused of running Exxon Mobil commercials

President Trump began his statement by saying that Exxon Mobil was a "great company," and detailing how it will be investing $20 billion in a project that will result in the creation of "45,000 jobs," averaging "$100,000." Trump expressed his view that his administration's new policies are responsible for the project's job creation.

The president concluded the statement by specifically thanking Exxon Mobil, describing it as a "special company," run by "special people."

Reacting to the president's address, Cenk Uygur offered the opinion that he is a "pathological liar," and that there is no way of verifying the figures Donald Trump cited. The host asked if the whole address was a "giant ad for Exxon Mobil." Uygur then underlined the timing of a meeting that took place between President Trump and Secretary of State Tillerson, and a subsequent memo, said to have been issued hours later.

The White House memo includes text that matches text written by Exxon lobbyists to the Trump administration, word for word.

Asking "what in the world is going on?" Cenk Uygur again stated that the Trump administration is "running giant ads" for Exxon Mobil. Considering what is motivating the behavior, the TYT host stated, "This is what Russia wants," and cited the $500 billion dollar Russian-Exxon Mobil deal.

He then asked if Rex Tillerson had actually disposed of all his Exxon Mobil holdings, as he promised to do after taking the secretary of state position. At the time, the secretary was quoted saying that he wanted to avoid even "the appearance" of impropriety being perceived.

Rex Tillerson's XOM stock holdings

BuzzFeed reports that Tillerson had a portfolio of 600,000 shares of XOM stock, plus two million "deferred shares," which vested over a 10-year period. The former Exxon Mobil CEO turned down bonuses of near $4 million, which Cenk Uygur stated that Tillerson deserves "credit" for. Rex Tillerson officially stepped down as Exxon Mobil CEO on December 31. However, payments related to Tillerson's deferred shares -- totaling about $160 million -- will be placed in an independent trust.

Uygur openly wondered how independent the trust holding the secretary of state's shares really is, and pointed out that, even though he doesn't control them, he still owns them. The host then weighed the $4 million in bonuses Tillerson turned down, with the $160 million he is still receiving, and asked, "Are his fortunes still tied to Exxon Mobil?" and exclaimed, "Of course they are!" Further, despite his promises that he would dispose of his common XOM stock, valued near $50 million, Rex Tillerson continues to hold his 600,000 shares.

Uygur pointed to Trump's pro-energy agenda, and a corresponding rally in the stock market, with Tillerson's pokey selling schedule, and a "nice little bump up in price" for XOM stock, and stated "the corruption is so obvious."

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