President Donald Trump slammed the wealthy Koch brothers, describing them as a “total joke.”
On July 30, the conservative Koch network refused to back a Republican candidate in North Dakota.
“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,” Trump tweeted on Tuesday morning. He said his policies “made them richer.”
“Their network is highly overrated, I have beaten them at every turn. 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!” he tweeted.
It comes as the Kochs unveiled an ad buy to fight against Trump’s tariffs. “American farmers work hard to put food on our tables but because of new tariffs our farmers livelihoods are at risks,” the ad says, according to CNBC. The ad then concludes: “Farmers want trade, not aid.”
In 2016, the Koch brothers refused to endorse Trump’s campaign.
Charles Koch has taken the lead after his younger brother, David, stepped down from their political group and their company Koch Industries earlier in June due to poor health.
Charles Koch told reporters at the gathering on July 29 that Trump’s trade policies, including tariffs, could trigger severe economic fallout.
The Koch-backed network also said it would not support the Republican challenger to Democratic U.S. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, who is facing re-election, according to the Washington Post.
According to Forbes Magazine, the brothers are worth about $60 billion each. They’re tied for the eighth richest person in the world. Their firm, Koch Industries, is the second largest privately owned business in the United States.
Charles Koch said at the Sunday gathering that he’s open to backing Democrats in the 2018 midterms, according to the Washington Post.
“I don’t care what initials are in front, or after, somebody’s name. … I’d like there to be many more politicians who would embrace and have the courage to run on a platform like this,” Koch said when he was asked about what he thought if Democrats took control of the House or Senate.
“The urge to protect ourselves from change has doomed many countries throughout history,” Koch also said in a video shown at the meeting, reported the Wall Street Journal in response to Trump’s tariff and immigration policies. “This protectionist mindset has destroyed countless businesses.”
Reuters contributed to this report.