Trump, Koch were destined to clash
President Trump and Republican megadonor Charles Koch were never more than “allies of convenience,” said Jim Geraghty, and now they’re headed for an angry divorce. Koch, who is worth about $50 billion, did not support either Trump or Hillary Clinton in the presidential race, likening it to a choice between “cancer or a heart attack.” He and his now-retired brother, David, have always been more committed to free markets and other libertarian principles than the GOP itself, and were no doubt appalled when the Trump administration ran up a $1 trillion deficit and “charged full speed ahead on tariffs and trade wars.” As a result, the Koch donor network just announced it won’t back Republican congressional candidates in the midterm elections who defend Trump’s trade policies. That enraged Trump, who called the Kochs “a total joke” and their network “highly overrated.” Not so: 96 percent of all Koch-backed candidates won their races in 2016. The network had pledged to spend $400 million to help Republicans keep control of Congress, but Koch is now warning he won’t support Trump loyalists and may even back some Democrats. This split was probably “inevitable,” but it’s still bad news for Republicans—and for Trump.