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RNC Cautions GOP Loyalists Against Donating to the Koch Network

Businessman David Koch arrives at the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Gala Benefit celebrating the opening of “Charles James: Beyond Fashion” in New York, May 5, 2014. (Carlo Allegri/Reuters)

The Republican National Committee (RNC) sent a letter to major donors this week warning them not to support the Koch network days after its representatives, and Charles Koch himself, criticized President Trump’s protectionist bent and signaled a willingness to back Democrats aligned with their vision.

Charles derided the administration’s embrace of tariffs at a Koch Network event in Colorado Springs this weekend and said explicitly that he doesn’t “care what initials are in front or after somebody’s name” when deciding how to allocate the network’s substantial resources.

“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,” RNC chair Ronna Romney McDaniel said in a letter to donors, obtained by Politico.

McDaniel goes on to detail her concerns regarding the Koch’s proprietary data program, suggesting the network might restrict access to the system should Republican candidates fall out of step with the brothers’ free market, free trade stance.

“From the beginning, the RNC had concerns about any outside entity building a data operation to compete with ours because we knew they could potentially weaponize that data against Republicans if their business interests conflicted with electing Republicans,” McDaniel writes. “Sadly, our concerns were recently proven true.”

Trump responded in characteristically forceful fashion to Charles’ comments, calling Charles and his brother David a “joke” in a Tuesday tweet. He continued the tirade on Thursday, questioning the extent of the brothers’ financial contributions to Republican candidates.

“Charles Koch of Koch Brothers, who claims to be giving away millions of dollars to politicians even though I know very few who have seen this (?), now makes the ridiculous statement that what President Trump is doing is unfair to ‘foreign workers,’” Trump wrote in a Thursday morning tweet. “He is correct, AMERICA FIRST!”

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