Published: Sun, August 05, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Clash of GOP titans as Trump vs. Kochs feud escalates

Clash of GOP titans as Trump vs. Kochs feud escalates

"First, the most important thing to know is the President Trump has continually made very clear that the RNC is his political arm and he has put his faith in the RNC as the entity that he works with to elect Republicans", McDaniel wrote in a memo to high-profile donors.

Officials with the Koch network, which was founded by billionaires Charles and David Koch and has pumped millions of dollars into elections helping Republicans, warned last weekend the group would be willing to support Democrats because of concerns that Trump's escalating trade war with other countries could cause a recession.

Trump's response not only bashed Koch's concern for foreign workers, but also cast doubt on whether the Koch brothers are still major political donors at all.

Earlier this week, Trump blasted the Koch brothers again on Twitter, saying they are "against Strong Borders and Powerful Trade [sic]".

"They want to protect their companies outside the US from being taxed, I'm for America First & the American Worker - a puppet for no one", Trump wrote.

While the move echoed across the political world, Republican operatives quietly dismissed the practical impact of the Koch's decision on the North Dakota Senate race, where Cramer's campaign believes he has a double-digit lead in the deep-red state against the Democratic incumbent. "I regret some of the [lawmakers] we have supported", Koch confided.

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Far from struggling to find their place, Charles Koch's operatives are firmly entrenched in the Trump administration. While the Kochs refused to endorse Trump's first presidential run, the president's loyalists don't want his 2020 re-election campaign bogged down by lingering bad blood.

In a response to the President's tweet on Thursday, Koch network spokesman James Davis said, "We have a long-term commitment to unite around issues that will help people improve their lives".

"We've got a message for lawmakers across the country".

Reality check: Trump's contention that he has seen no evidence the brothers have donated to GOP candidates is not accurate.

There are billions of other reasons theyre likely to come around: Americans for Tax Fairness, which opposed the Trump cuts, estimated that “Charles Koch and David Koch and/or Koch Industries could save between $1 billion and $1.4 billion combined in income taxes each year from the Trump tax law — and that doesnt even count how much the brothers might save in taxes on offshore profits or how much their heirs will benefit from weakening the estate tax.”.

Charles Koch and Koch network representatives said over the weekend they will be more selective about the candidates they support in the future, citing disagreements about economic policies. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) as Republicans fight to maintain their majority in the Senate. Whether Trump thinks they are a "total joke", as reported by USA Today, there are some Republicans willing to publicly express their worry, with their name attached to the statements, and that begs the question of how many more are remaining silent but harboring the same feelings. "I have beaten them at every turn".

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