President Donald Trump delivered a rare attack on the billionaire Koch brothers early Tuesday, referring to the GOP megadonors as globalists, a term increasingly used in xenophobic and anti-Semitic contexts.
Leaders of the Koch Network of conservative megadonors criticized Trump during the group’s annual summit over the weekend, calling his White House “divisive.” Charles Koch also suggested in a rare interview that his groups may spend less backing the GOP in the future, and expressed regret over their support of certain candidates in the past.
On Twitter, Trump ripped the brothers for “bad ideas” and bragged: “I made them richer.”
Brian Hooks, a top official at the Koch donor network, over the weekend called the Trump-supported $1.3 trillion spending bill passed by Congress this year “the most fiscally irresponsible budget in the history of our country.”
Americans for Prosperity, a Koch-backed nonprofit, released a series of ads earlier this year slamming Rep. Lou Barletta (R-Pa.), the Republican nominee for a Senate seat representing the state and a Trump favorite who supported the spending bill.
The libertarian Kochs have backed countless Republican candidates over the years, but didn’t support Trump’s presidential campaign in 2016.
CORRECTION: An earlier version wrongly characterized the $1.3 trillion spending bill as $1.3 billion.