For years, David, Bill and Charles Koch have spent hundreds of millions of dollars propping up Republican candidates and advancing far-right causes at the federal, state and local levels. Indeed, prior to Donald Trump winning the Republican party’s primary contest, the Koch brothers were anticipating spending nearly $1 billion – yes, billion – during the 2016 election cycle alone.
However, when Trump did win the primary, the Koch brothers signaled to the press that they were going to hold back somewhat on their political spend. Presumably, this was due to Trump’s willingness to speak the language of economic populism – something to which the Koch’s are fundamentally and bitterly opposed.
Of course, now that Trump has won the presidency, his message of economic populism appears to have been nothing more than a cynical political ploy. This is evidenced by the billionaires who compose his cabinet, and his nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court – a man who has consistently valued corporate profits over the lives of real, breathing human beings.
Now, new reports indicate that Trump is doing all he can to pull the Koch brothers – and their money – firmly into his corner. As reported by Politico, Trump wined and dined the Koch brothers at Mar-A-Lago on Saturday, trying to smooth out any remaining hard feelings. From Politico: Trump “had a friendly chat at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach with twin mega-donor brothers David and Bill Koch, whose family had clashed with Trump during the campaign.”
“While Bill Koch supported Trump during the general election, David Koch and his older brother Charles Koch sidelined their massive political machine during the presidential campaign in protest of Trump. [A]ny rapprochement between Trump and David and Charles Koch could be significant in portending a less adversarial relationship between their network and the administration.”
While this “rapprochement” would certainly be a boon to the wallets of Republicans, it would prove a disaster for those who value workers’ rights, smart regulation, and social benefit programs of any kind.