Drain the Swamp

Trump Bashes ‘Globalist’ Koch Brothers as ‘Total Joke’

After libertarian billionaires refused to support Senate candidate Kevin Cramer, the president called them out as 'nice guys with bad ideas'

President Donald Trump chastised “globalist” billionaires Charles and David Koch Tuesday for refusing to back his conservative populist policies and withholding funds from GOP congressional candidates who support the agenda wholeheartedly.

“The globalist Koch Brothers, who have become a total joke in real Republican circles, are against Strong Borders and Powerful Trade. I never sought their support because I don’t need their money or bad ideas. They love my Tax & Regulation Cuts, Judicial picks & more. I made … them richer,” Trump tweeted.

“Their network is highly overrated, I have beaten them at every turn,” Trump added. “They want to protect their companies outside the U.S. from being taxed, I’m for America First & the American Worker — a puppet for no one. Two nice guys with bad ideas. Make America Great Again!”

Charles Koch (pictured above right), David Koch (pictured center above) and many in their network of donors made news over the weekend by criticizing Trump at a Colorado conference and refusing to support a pro-Trump Senate candidate, Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), in the 2018 midterm elections. Cramer is vying to replace vulnerable incumbent Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) as Republicans fight to maintain their majority in the Senate.

In particular, the Koch brothers and their network expressed their opposition to Trump’s fair trade policies and tariffs, which are resulting in ongoing clashes with U.S. trading partners, and also the president’s strict immigration enforcement and border security agenda.

Charles Koch said Sunday during the meeting, “I regret some of the [lawmakers] we have supported … we’re gonna more directly deal with that and hold people accountable,” according to The Hill.

“I’m looking for policies that will move forward a society of mutual benefit, where everybody has the opportunity to realize their objectives, so I don’t care what initials are in front or after somebody’s name,” Koch said, hinting that he’d support some Democratic candidates. “I’d like there to be many more politicians who would embrace and have the courage to run on a platform like this.”

Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel expressed her disappointment in the Koch brothers during an interview Tuesday on Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom.”

“What was very disappointing to see yesterday, that they are not going to support Kevin Cramer in this all-too-important North Dakota Senate race,” McDaniel said. “Heidi Heitkamp voted against the tax cuts. She has not been a supporter of the policies the president has put forward to boost this economy. And Kevin Cramer absolutely has.”

Related: ‘Don’t Blame Trump’ for Inheriting ‘Broken World Trading System’

Calling the Koch brothers “ideologues,” McDaniel noted they are supporting both Republicans and Democrats in 2018. But McDaniel insisted that the “energy of the Republican Party” is “solidly behind the president” and his conservative populist agenda.

“That’s why the president has been so supportive of the RNC,” McDaniel said. “The party is where the data is. The party is where we’re building our infrastructure. We do the ground game because we’re not going to equivocate on who we’re going to support. We’re supporting Republicans. We’re supporting majorities that are going to help this president pass his agenda.”

(photo credit, homepage and article images: Donald Trump, CC BY-SA 2.0, Cut Out/Collage by Gage Skidmore; David Koch, CC BY-SA 2.0, Cut Out/Colorized by Gage Skidmore)

meet the author

PoliZette writer Kathryn Blackhurst can be reached at [email protected].