President Trump made a hypothetical statement during a rally on Monday, using ExxonMobil as an example of a company he could call and ask for campaign donations in exchange for government favors. The oil giant quickly tweeted a clarification.
"We are aware of the president's statement regarding a hypothetical call with our CEO," ExxonMobil stated, "and just so we're all clear, it never happened."
At a rally in Prescott, Arizona, Trump had praised his own prowess at soliciting campaign donations, telling supporters he would be the "greatest fundraiser in history. All I have to do is call up the head of every Wall Street firm, the head of every major company, the head of every major energy company. 'Do me a favor, send me $10 million for my campaign.' 'Yes sir.' They say, 'The only thing is, why didn't you ask for more, sir?' I would be — I would take in more money, but you know what? I don't want to do that. Because if I do that, I'm totally compromised."
Trump then sketched out a possible quid pro quo. "So I call some guy, the head of Exxon, I call the head of Exxon — I don't know, I'll use a company," he said. "'Hi, how you doing, how's energy coming, when are you doing the exploration? Oh you need a couple of permits, huh? Okay.' But I call the head of Exxon, I say, 'You know, I'd love [for you] to send me $25 million for the campaign.' 'Absolutely sir, why didn't you ask, would you like some more?' If I made the call I will hit a home run, every single call. I would raise a billion dollars in one day, if I wanted to. I don't want to do that, I don't want to do it."
The topic has been on Trump's mind lately, as his campaign falls behind Democratic nominee Joe Biden in fundraising. He brought it up during a rally Saturday in Wisconsin, too, CBS News noted, telling the crowd he "could have more money" if he would "call up Wall Street," but "then when they call you, you've got to take that call." Catherine Garcia
Boston Dynamics' extremely creepy robots just got even more terrifying. The "notoriously tight-lipped company" is apparently in the process of teaching its yellow "SpotMini" robo-dogs to fight off humans, Wired reports, which basically means giving them the "ability to deal with our crap." Here is what that nightmarish goal looks like in action:
Boston Dynamics explains that in the video above, man's mechanical best friend was instructed by one human to proceed through the door, while another human attempted — admittedly not with much passion — to ward off its attempts.
Not so reassuringly, a new study by 26 experts in the field claims that artificial intelligence is increasingly a threat to mankind, The Independent reports. "AI will alter the landscape of risk for citizens, organizations, and states — whether it's criminals training machines to hack or 'phish' at human levels of performance or privacy-eliminating surveillance, profiling, and repression — the full range of impacts on security is vast," Oxford University's Future of Humanity Institute research fellow Miles Brundage said.
To anyone still concerned about Fido Prime, "this testing does not irritate or harm the robot," Boston Dynamics promises. People worried about, well, people might not be so reassured. The score is clear: Humankind 0, SpotMini 1. Jeva Lange
Clowns, as a concept, are absolutely not okay, which makes these clowns-only screenings of It at the Alamo Drafthouse theaters in Austin, Texas, and Brooklyn, New York, about the most not okay things imaginable.
The Sept. 9 showings of the 2017 adaptation of Stephen King's killer clown story require attendees to "arrive dressed as a clown in order to attend," spoofing the controversy that stemmed earlier this year from the theater's women-only screenings of Wonder Woman.
But when it comes to clowns, Drafthouse is entirely serious: "Please arrive early and join us in the Barrel O' Fun beginning at 5:30 p.m. for an It pre-party where we will have face-painters available for clown 'touch-ups,' a photo booth, raffles for prizes, and other terrifying merriment," the theater writes for its Austin event.
Watch the trailer for It below and clowns, you can get your tickets here. Jeva Lange