Former ‘Never Trump’ Koch Exec Marc Short Rejoins White House After Failed Legislative Affairs Record

Koch Brothers and Marc Short
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Former “Never Trump” Koch brothers executive Marc Short, once President Trump’s White House Legislative Affairs Director, is now rejoining the administration as Vice President Mike Pence’s Chief of Staff after a brief stint as a CNN commentator.

On social media, Pence confirmed his intention to hire Short as his Chief of Staff:

In July 2018, Short left the White House with a failed record as legislative director, prioritizing a tax reform bill that was favored by corporate donors while not securing any legislative path forward for Trump’s pro-American immigration reform.

Last year, Short oversaw the crafting of a number of amnesty plans for illegal aliens and touted amnesty for more than a million illegal aliens enrolled and eligible for President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

Short’s most notable failure as legislative affairs director was his pressuring for Trump to sign last year’s trillion-dollar omnibus spending bill that actually barred the construction of Trump’s wall, expanded “Catch and Release” for illegal aliens, did not fund 1,000 new deportation agents as requested, and did not include a single component of the president’s immigration priorities.

Instead, Short focused largely on the donor class-preferred tax reform plan. Current and former White House staffers have admitted privately that they understood the tax cuts would be the only legislation passed through the then-GOP-controlled Congress.

Before joining the Trump administration in 2017, Short was one of the leaders of the failed “Never Trump” movement inside the billionaire GOP mega-donor Koch brothers’ network of organizations. The Koch brothers have continued opposing Trump and have vowed not to support the president in his 2020 re-election bid.

Short worked as the director of the Kochs’ Freedom Partners organization and in early 2016, during the height of the Republican presidential primary, while Trump was taking the country by storm on his populist-nationalist “America First” agenda, Short was heading an effort to derail the then-front-runner.

At the time, National Review exclusively reported that Short was leading an effort inside the Koch brothers’ organizations to take down Trump and his agenda, partly by supporting Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), who infamously helped author the Gang of Eight amnesty bill that would have given the 12 to 30 million illegal aliens in the U.S. a pathway to citizenship:

On a frigid Tuesday in February, a team of top political operatives from the Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce, the umbrella group that controls political activities for the sprawling donor network led by billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch, arrived in Kansas for a meeting that they hoped would turn the tide of the presidential campaign. [Emphasis added]

They’d set aside $150 million to spend on paid media alone, to be spread across campaigns at the federal, state, and local levels. Yet they had not been authorized to spend a dime on the White House race. [Emphasis added]

Marc Short, then president of Freedom Partners, wanted to change that. He led a faction inside the Koch network that had become convinced of the need to neutralize Donald Trump before his momentum made him unstoppable. Fresh off Trump’s landslide victory in New Hampshire one week earlier, and staring down another likely Trump win in South Carolina that Saturday, Short and his lieutenants had come to Wichita to present Charles Koch with a detailed, eight-figure blueprint for derailing the Republican front-runner on Super Tuesday, when eleven states would vote. They hoped to get the green light to hammer Trump with ads in the states where he was most vulnerable. [Emphasis added]

Just a week after Short’s efforts to lead a full-fledged Koch-funded operation against Trump, he signed onto the Rubio campaign.

After Short left the Koch’s Freedom Partners, he praised the open borders, billionaire donors, saying, “Charles and David have built an amazing network of donors and activists, and their investments in future generations will pay huge dividends.”

In March 2016, The Guardian noted that Short had failed to stop Trump’s ascension to become the Republican nominee for president.

After pushing for a Koch network blitz against Trump, the conservative network’s top political operative, Marc Short, left last month to advise the Rubio campaign and consult for several Senate and gubernatorial candidates, some of whom are likely to get Koch network backing too, say two GOP sources. [Emphasis added]

Marc Short felt strongly that something had to be done about Trump, [and] advocated for getting involved,” one conservative said. [Emphasis added]

While a CNN commentator, Short defended the billionaire Kochs, saying they are libertarians who have supported Trump on particular issues, like tax cuts.

“Charles and David [Koch] never wanted to be Republicans and never wanted to be Democrats. They’ve always been more libertarian independents. And so, yes … they’ve supported the president on tax reform, they support him on judicial nominations, they break on several issues…”

John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder


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