Trump Calls the Koch Brothers "a Total Joke" :: Politics :: News :: Donald Trump

Charlene Craig
August 2, 2018

The announcement marks a new chapter in the strained relationship between the Trump administration and the expanding conservative network created by billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch, who refused to endorse the Republican president in 2016.

Officials with the powerful political network overseen by conservative billionaire Charles Koch on Monday said they do not now plan to help the Republican nominee in one of the GOP's top Senate pickup opportunities this year.

This comes after the Koch network has opposed Trump's trade policy, and won't be supporting some Trump-aligned candidates this fall.

President Trump criticized GOP billionaire donors Koch brothers in a tweet this morning, calling them "globalist", The Huffington Post reports.

He went on to say that he never sought their support because he doesn't need their money or "bad ideas".

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In a separate tweet, Trump argued that he "made them richer" and that the Koch network "is highly overrated".

The public spat with the Kochs comes less than four months before the November 6 midterm congressional elections that have Trump's fellow Republicans seeking to maintain control of both chambers of Congress and lay bare the ongoing internal debate in the Republican Party about trade policy.

Against the backdrop of the Rocky Mountains, Charles Koch signaled to donors sipping on cocktails and wine during Saturday's lakeside reception that he's here to stay.

This is not the first time that the Koch network has sought to use its political influence to push back against Trump. The company and the Koch political operations have pushed relentlessly for lower taxes, less regulation and free trade. "We look forward to working with anyone to do so", he said.

The conservative Koch network is refusing to help the Republican Party win North Dakota's high-profile Senate contest after determining the GOP challenger in the race is no better than the Democrat.

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Some Trump loyalists were furious at perceived contradictions in the Koch network's behavior and anxious that it could complicate the president's 2020 re-election.

"If in fact you have people espousing these in name, but not in practice, yeah, they're not going to be supported, nor should they be", Bevin said in a brief interview.

Koch opened his twice-annual conference in Colorado last week by offering the more than 500 major donors in attendance an impassioned critique of protectionism, which he called a "destructive" force that is "perverting the key institutions of our society".

The Koch network is only active in four Senate races, including Wisconsin, Tennessee, Florida and Missouri.

Charles Koch, chairman and chief executive officer of Koch Industries, said Sunday he worries Trump's actions on trade and tariffs put the booming USA economy at risk of recession.

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