Friday, 17 August, 2018

Republican donors the Koch brothers 'a total joke'

Aaron P. Bernstein  ReutersSen. Heidi Heitkamp speaks with reporters ahead of the weekly policy luncheons on Capitol Hill in Washington Aaron P. Bernstein ReutersSen. Heidi Heitkamp speaks with reporters ahead of the weekly policy luncheons on Capitol Hill in Washington
Gerardo Duncan | 02 August, 2018, 17:50

Washington, Jul 31 US President Donald Trump trained his morning Twitter rage on two of the Republican Party's leading donors today, berating the powerful Koch brothers as "globalists", "overrated" and "a total joke".

The decision sends a strong message to Republican officials across the country that there may be real consequences for those unwilling to oppose the spending explosion and protectionist trade policies embraced by the Trump White House in recent weeks.

James Davis, a spokesman for the network, didn't immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

The Koch brothers did not endorse Trump in the 2016 election. Trump captured North Dakota by almost 36 percentage points in 2016, and toppling the nine other Democratic senators are up for re-election in Trump states would expand the GOP's hold on the Senate. Heidi Heitkamp. Heitkamp is one of the most vulnerable Democratic seats in the midterm elections and if Cramer takes her seat, it could help them keep the majority.

In addition to hitting the brothers on border security and trade, the president wrote he did not seek their support during the 2016 presidential campaign "because I don't need their money or bad ideas".

United States president Donald Trump has called the conservative Koch brothers "a total joke in real Republican circles".

The Kochs' political arm, Americans for Prosperity, still plans to focus on helping Republican Senate candidates in Tennessee, Florida and Wisconsin.

Officials said the meeting this weekend is the largest summer gathering of like-minded donors, with 135 first-time participants.

Donors also discussed the status of the network's work on a range of priorities for the constellation of Koch-aligned groups, including free speech on college campuses, supporting anti-poverty programs in communities, conducting new research in an effort to reduce recidivism rates, and more. "We can't support him at this time and we've met with his team, explained this and lobbied them on this".

Trump's policies on trade in particular have provoked ire among some Republicans, especially those in states most affected by retaliatory tariffs enacted by China, Canada, the European Union and beyond.

Cramer, a Trump backer, has told allies he remains confident about his chances and will continue to support the president. You can bet they love the Trump administration's deregulatory agenda, but more than anything else, they love the tax cuts Republicans passed past year.

Charles Koch has said he doesn't care if Democrats take back the House of Representatives in 2018.

Withholding support for Cramer could be a fairly low-stakes political move for the network. His younger brother, David Koch, retired from the company and network in June.

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