WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Koch brothers’ powerhouse Beltway group that manages much of their political spending is taking a cue from Charles Koch and deciding not to support Donald Trump or Ted Cruz in the general election. And it’s leaving the door open to possibly supporting Hillary Clinton.
Breitbart News has learned that the Kochs’ “secret bank” Freedom Partners is staying out of the 2016 election, just four years after it spent big, including for the pro-Romney cause. Freedom Partners, based in Arlington, Virginia, would not rule out supporting Clinton, though the group made clear that they are not currently supporting her and have seen “no indication” that she would qualify for their support, absent a massive repudiation of her past support for the Ex-Im Bank and runaway government spending.
Billionaire conservative-libertarian benefactor Charles Koch said in an ABC News interview that Hillary Clinton could “possibly” be a better candidate for his interests than either Donald Trump or Ted Cruz.
“We would have to believe her actions would be quite different than her rhetoric. Let me put it that way,” Koch said. Koch also called Donald Trump’s policies on Muslims “reminiscent of Nazi Germany” and cited foreign policy to slam both Trump and Cruz.
In Washington, D.C., Koch-World is taking the hint.
The nonprofit group Freedom Partners is popularly identified alongside its major financiers, the Koch Brothers. Freedom Partners, which has been called “The Koch brothers’ secret bank,” dropped $250 million during the 2012 election, including on grants to a group supporting Mitt Romney.
But Freedom Partners is planning to stay out of the 2016 election in the event that Donald Trump or Ted Cruz becomes the Republican nominee, and is actually open to the idea of supporting Hillary Clinton if she proves herself worthy.
“We agree with Charles Koch that Hillary Clinton’s policies are far out-of-step with what’s needed to change the trajectory of our nation. We’ve seen no indication that she would do anything other than continue the policies responsible for creating a two-tiered society, and we will not support anyone that doesn’t share our commitment to protecting free speech, ending corporate welfare and restoring fiscal responsibility,” Freedom Partners spokesman James Davis told Breitbart News.
Freedom Partners chairman Mark Holden said that the group does not plan to get involved to support any candidate in this current race. Freedom Partners said that the group’s position on that front is “unchanged.”
“If during the general election cycle, a candidate were able to garner support from the public with a positive message in support of the issues we care about, and did not engage in personal attacks and mudslinging, we would consider potentially getting involved. That hasn’t happened yet and there is no indication that this will happen given the current tone and tenor of the various campaigns,” Holden said.