Tuesday, 16 October, 2018

Trump blasts Koch brothers as 'a total joke'

Koch Network distances from Trump divisiveness Koch Brothers Group Says They Won't Be Backing Kevin Cramer in His Senate Race Against Heidi Heitkamp
Ray Hunter | 02 August, 2018, 17:53

The war of words intensified between two titans in Republican politics on Tuesday as President Donald Trump trashed the conservative billionaire Koch brothers as a "total joke in real Republican circles".

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

The Kochs' influence has been powered by their fortunes from Koch Industries, the second-largest privately held USA company with operations in a range of sectors from refining and chemicals to ranching and forest products.

In 2016, the Koch brothers refused to endorse Trump's campaign.

On Monday, the political advocacy network created by the billionaire industrialists announced it would not back the GOP candidate in the North Dakota Senate race.

The North Dakota Senate race is one of ABC News" key "18 for "18" races this midterm cycle. "I never sought their support because I don't need their money or bad ideas", Trump tweeted Tuesday morning. Heidi Heitkamp, for her vote in support of reform to the Dodd-Frank financial regulation legislation.

"Their network is highly overrated", Trump said. "We look forward to working with anyone to do so", he said.

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

MH370 final report: Missing aircraft behaviour reveals it was under manual control
For Jennifer Chong, whose husband Tan was on board the flight, she said: "To me, it is a helpless day as doors are shut". It is believed to have crashed in the southern Indian Ocean, hundreds of miles away from its scheduled route.

Charles Koch, chairman and chief executive officer of Koch Industries, said Sunday he worries Trump's actions on trade and tariffs put the booming USA economy at risk of recession.

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

Trump's criticism of the Koch brothers followed the group's biannual meeting over the weekend in Colorado Springs, where top officials were vocal in their criticism of the president's protectionist trade actions and anti-immigration rhetoric.

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.

He called out the White House and Trump-allied GOP lawmakers, particularly over trade policy and increased federal spending, and added that "the divisiveness of this White House is causing long-term damage".

Mr. Trump tweeted early in the day that DeSantis has "my Full & Total Endorsement!" In order to keep everyone in line, they've chose to make some mostly symbolic gestures toward supporting a Democrat here or there, like taking out a web ad thanking Democratic senator Heidi Heitkamp for voting for a bill to deregulate banks. His younger brother, David Koch, retired from the company and network in June.

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

Trump, who is seeking Judge Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation to the Supreme Court in the fall, also made the case that voters need to elect more Republicans, pointing to Democratic opposition to his pick.

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