Koch network will not back Trump for reelection: report

The powerful political network led by conservative billionaire Charles Koch is telling its donors it will not support President Trump in his 2020 reelection campaign, The Washington Post reported Thursday.

{mosads}The Koch network will still support conservative candidates in statewide and congressional races while declining to endorse Trump, echoing its strategy from 2016, according to The Post. 

Spokesman James Davis told The Post the network plans to make a “significant investment to support policy champions in Senate, House and state races, build broad-based policy coalitions, and to launch a major new initiative to fight poverty in America.” 

“This is where we can make the biggest difference for millions of Americans,” he said.

Charles Koch made waves last summer when he indicated he could work with Democrats on priorities such as income inequality and criminal justice reform. 

“Some groups who claim to support conservatives forgo their commitment when they decide their business interests are more important than those of the country or Party. This is unacceptable,” the Republican National Committee wrote in a letter to donors in response. 

Trump also called the network, which had previously only engaged in the 2012 presidential cycle, “a total joke in real Republican circles” after Koch leaders criticized the president in July. The Kochs did not support Trump in 2016. 

The Hill reached out to the Trump campaign for comment.

The White House does maintain ties with the powerful donor network, however, regarding issues such as tax cuts, criminal justice reform and immigration.

Donors told The Post they expect the network’s 2020 plans to be a topic of discussion at a retreat this weekend, with some saying they supported the president and others saying they agreed with the network’s decision.

Tags Donald Trump

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