Administration

Dem senators demand Trump explain ties to Koch brothers

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Senate Democrats are demanding that the Trump administration explain its ties to GOP mega-donor brothers Charles and David Koch after the brothers’ network took credit for some policies passed during President Trump’s first year in office, McClatchy reported.

The letters come after a report was sent to a group of Koch donors called the Seminar Network that took responsibility for roughly a dozen new policies passed by the Trump administration, including the new GOP tax law and the repeal of the Obama-era Clean Power Plan.

“Americans have a right to know if special interests are unduly influencing public policy decisions that have profound implications for public health, the environment, and the economy,” the senators write in their letters obtained by McClatchy.

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Democratic Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.), Ed Markey (Mass.), Catherine Cortez Masto (Nev.), Ron Wyden (Ore.), Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) and Tom Udall (N.M.) all signed the letters.

The letters were sent to administration officials including President Trump, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.

A spokesman for the Koch network told McClatchy that the network is transparent about the efforts it backs and that they’ll “work with anyone to make progress on these issues.”

“This is emblematic of whats wrong with Washington. People playing political games rather than coming together and solving issues,” the spokesperson said.

The White House did not respond to McClatchy’s request for comment.

The Kochs did not back Trump during the 2016 presidential race but have supported top Trump administration officials, including Vice President Pence and Pruitt.

White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, White House counsel Don McGahn and legislative affairs director Marc Short all previously worked for the Koch network.

Tags Catherine Cortez Masto Donald Trump Ed Markey Elizabeth Warren Kellyanne Conway Koch Brothers Political contributions Ron Wyden Ryan Zinke Scott Pruitt Sheldon Whitehouse Tom Udall

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