Finance

‘No quid pro quo’ between Trump and oil execs at Mar-a-Lago, Gov. Burgum says

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Kathryn Burgum aplauds as her husband Republican Governor of North Dakota Doug Burgum shakes hands with former US President and 2024 presidential hopeful Donald Trump during a Caucus Night watch party in Las Vegas, Nevada, on February 8, 2024. 
Patrick T. Fallon | AFP | Getty Images

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum – a potential pick to be former President Donald Trump‘s running mate – is denying claims that the former president had told oil executives he’d reduce regulations if elected in exchange for helping him raise money to return to the White House. 

According to the Washington Post, Trump told a few of the country’s top oil executives in a meeting with them earlier this year at his Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida, that he’d reverse dozens of environmental rules and policies that the Biden administration has put in place and prevent new ones from being implemented. That is, if they raised $1 billion to re-elect him.

That donation would make it a “deal” given that they’d avoid taxation and regulation because of him, he said. Trump also reportedly told the executives that he would auction off more oil drilling leases in the Gulf of Mexico.

“I was at that meeting – that did not happen,” Burgum said on CBS’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday. “He didn’t ask for a billion dollars in donations, and there was no quid pro quo.”

Burgum also denied that Trump was targeting the oil industry to finance his reelection, saying that “he’s not targeting anybody” and is “doing what candidates do” by going and listening to an industry that is “fundamental to the entire economy.”

In January, Burgum endorsed Trump for president. He ended his bid to become the Republican nominee a month earlier in December 2023 after launching his campaign in June of that year and has since become an advisor to Trump on energy policy.

Burgum’s family leases 200 acres of farmland in Williams County, North Dakota, to Continental Resources – the largest oil and gas leaseholder in that state – for oil and gas pumping.

While his financial disclosure reveals that he’s made up to $50,000 in royalties since late 2022 from the deal with Continental, experts told CNBC that he and his family business have likely made thousands more since they signed a contract with the company in 2009.

When asked whether his aligning with the energy industry is alienating young voters who say that climate and environmental policy is important to them, Burgum is “not concerned about it at all,” he said.

Burgum, who’s also a software entrepreneur, announced earlier this year that he won’t be seeking a third term as governor. His second term is set to end on December 14.

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