Report: Koch Network Raises $70M to Tank Trump in GOP Presidential Primary

In this February 26, 2007 file photograph, Charles Koch, head of Koch Industries, talks pa
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The Koch network, bankrolled by GOP mega-donor billionaire Charles Koch, is raising tens of millions of dollars to tank former President Donald Trump’s chances of securing the Republican presidential nomination.

Records reviewed by the New York Times reveal that the Koch network has raised more than $70 million for its 2016-style effort to prevent Trump from becoming the GOP nominee to go up against President Joe Biden.

The Times reports:

According to a preliminary draft of the filings for the group, Americans for Prosperity Action, its major donors include Art Pope, a North Carolina businessman who attended a policy retreat hosted by former Vice President Mike Pence before he joined the presidential race; Craig Duchossois, a Chicago businessman; Jim and Rob Walton, brothers and heirs to the Walmart fortune; and Ron Cameron, an Arkansas poultry magnate. [Emphasis added]

Two groups closely affiliated with Charles Koch contributed $50 million of the money. Mr. Koch is a major shareholder in Koch Industries, which contributed $25 million to Americans for Prosperity Action, the draft of the filings shows. Another $25 million was donated by Stand Together, a nonprofit he founded. [Emphasis added]

The Koch network’s goal in the 2024 presidential primaries, which has been described only indirectly in written internal communications, is to stop Mr. Trump from winning the Republican nomination. In February, a top political official in the network, Emily Seidel, wrote a memo to donors and activists saying it was time to “have a president in 2025 who represents a new chapter.” [Emphasis added]

Though fundraising to stop Trump would be the first time the Koch network gets directly involved in a GOP presidential primary, the network’s donors tried in 2016 to tank Trump’s candidacy with former executive Marc Short at the helm.

Short went on to join Trump’s White House and is now advising former Vice President Mike Pence in his run for the GOP presidential nomination.

According to the Times, donors associated with the Koch network had hoped to throw their support behind Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) in the GOP primary but have since backed off following what was perceived as a rocky campaign kickoff that launched on a Twitter space.

The donors are also reportedly looking at Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) as an option to keep Trump from the nomination.

The Koch network has long been opposed to Trump, mainly because of his economic nationalist policy approach on immigration and trade.

Whereas the Kochs have backed mass waves of legal immigration and free trade at all costs, Trump has sought to cut overall immigration levels to the United States and imposed tariffs on foreign imports, particularly from China.

John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Email him at Follow him on Twitter here.


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