Trump says Koch brothers are 'a total joke' in GOP

Gov. Rick Scott     By Steve Bousquet 9 hours ago

President Donald Trump launched a searing Twitter attack Tuesday against the billionaire donor Koch brothers amid the group's renewed public relations push in opposition to the president's trade war.

"We support policies that help all people improve their lives", James Davis, a spokesman for the Koch network, said in a statement.

Their company, Koch Industries, is the second largest privately owned business in the USA and has interests ranging from pipelines to paper towels. The Koch network has dabbled in working with and supporting Democrats when their interests have aligned, and the network alarmed some Republicans earlier this year when it funded a digital ad campaign applauding North Dakota Sen.

Heitkamp is one of a handful of vulnerable Senate Democrats facing tough re-election races in conservative states that overwhelmingly backed Trump in 2016. "I never sought their support because I don't need their money or bad ideas", Trump tweeted Tuesday morning.

Such is the Koch brothers' affection for Heitkamp they purchased an advertisement to thank her.

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"Their network is highly overrated, I have beaten them at every turn".

In the interview, Charles added that he regrets supporting some Republicans, though he did not specify who, and will focus his network's future endorsements and donations on candidates who are open to building coalitions to work on issues important to them, regardless of party affiliation.

The midterm strategy could change in the coming weeks, but the Kochs now plan to ignore North Dakota's high-profile Senate contest, where three-term Republican Congressman Kevin Cramer is trying to unseat Democratic Sen.

This is not the first time Trump has clashed with Republican Party moneymen.

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 White House pushed back against the comments and emphasized that Mr. Trump believes in free trade but wants fair practices.

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"Here's the program: Ground game to support Trump's presidency and program, [and] victory on November 6", Bannon said in an interview with POLITICO.

"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.

Trump claimed the Kochs are fans of his tax bill, even though Brian Hooks, a top official at the donor network, over the weekend called Trump's policies "the most fiscally irresponsible budget in the history of our country".

Koch, 82, has been at the helm of his family's political organization since his younger brother, David, announced in June that he would be retiring from Koch Industries and politics for health reasons.

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