Published: Thu, August 02, 2018
Global | By Enrique Rogers

Trump rejects 'overrated' conservative Koch donor network

Trump rejects 'overrated' conservative Koch donor network

President Donald Trump on Tuesday blasted influential conservative donors Charles and David Koch, dubbing them a "total joke" who are "against Strong Borders and Powerful Trade". The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the nation's largest business lobby, has publicly criticized the billions of dollars worth of tariffs the administration has targeted at China, Canada, Mexico and the European Union.

The open battle between the White House and the billionaire Koch brothers escalated further on Tuesday when former Donald Trump campaign advisor Sam Nunberg insulted the billionaire heirs.

Indeed, despite its power and money, The Koch Empire couldn't stop Trump as he rolled over the 16 other Republican candidates, much to the chagrin of Never Trumpers in the GOP who were infected with a strain of Trump Derangement Syndrome as bad as that among activists on the Left.

After running attack ads against Heitkamp, the Kochs launched a digital ad campaign thanking the Democrat for voting to roll back Obama-era banking regulations.

What's more, he claimed in a second tweet to have made the brothers "richer" while slamming their political network as "highly overrated" because he has "beaten them at every turn". "We look forward to working with anyone to do so", he said. "It was uncomfortable for me, too", Emily Seidel, chief executive of the network's political arm Americans for Prosperity, said in her Sunday briefing to donors.

Fifteen years later, the network has grown to encompass more than 700 donors who each contribute at least $100,000 annually to Koch-linked groups.

But McDaniel insisted that the "energy of the Republican Party" is "solidly behind the president" and his conservative populist agenda.

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So far, 10 GOP House lawmakers and two senators have been targeted by the Koch network's political arm due to their support for the $1.3 trillion spending package passed by Congress in March or for voting against spending clawbacks.

The organisation cited Mr Cramer's support for a mammoth congressional spending bill this year and his failure to challenge White House policy on trade and global duties.

Mr Trump has played a role in several Republican primaries, helping candidates in Georgia, Alabama and SC in recent weeks with endorsements that underline his influence within the party.

"I don't necessarily think the Kochs splitting a little from the GOP makes it harder to fundraise", said Eberhart, who attended the Koch summit and stands by Cramer.

"I don't care what initials are in front or after somebody's name", Charles Koch told reporters during a rare, on-the-record interview here.

Last month, the company was told that David Koch, 78, was stepping down because of his deteriorating health.

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