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Trump and Charles Koch in a Tiff? Don’t Believe a Word of It

Courtesy of Pam Martens

Public Citizen Report on Koch Allies in White House and Federal Agencies

Public Citizen Issued an In-Depth Report in November 2017 on the 44 Koch Operatives/Allies that Filled Key Posts in the Trump Administration

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens

It only took one day for the so-called tiff between President Donald Trump and billionaire puppet-master, Charles Koch, to land on the front page of the New York Times after being widely reported on cable news last evening. In a tweet yesterday, Trump called Charles Koch and his brother, David, “a total joke” and said he had “beaten them at every turn.”

Charles Koch is the Chairman and CEO of one of the largest private companies in the world, Koch Industries, a fossil fuels and chemicals conglomerate that has been a serial polluter of the air and water for decades. He and his brother, David, each have an estimated net worth of $51 billion according to Forbes, owing to their majority ownership of Koch Industries. In June, David stepped down from all management functions at Koch Industries as well as severing his ties to the Koch political machine. The pair have functioned as backroom party bosses, behind the veil of tax-exempt organizations, for the past 40 years.

Trump’s verbal assault followed one of those infamous semi-annual Koch retreats of wealthy donors over the weekend, this time at the 5-star Broadmoor hotel and resort in Colorado Springs. The 2016 event at the same venue was subsidized by the U.S. taxpayer. A tax-exempt organization, Freedom Partners, controlled by a Board of current and former Koch company employees, paid $1,241,571 to the Broadmoor for the event.

The problem with media reports about these Koch retreats is that reporters agree to withhold the names of the donors in attendance and are given scripted statements to be regurgitated to the public. In this case, the Charles Koch agenda was to get widespread media coverage that he is at odds with Trump on unpopular issues – like the immigration disaster at the border and the tariff war: in other words, issues that make Koch Industries look bad while it’s in the midst of a very expensive marketing and advertising campaign to rebrand its image away from that of the Kochtopus into a company known for “integrity” and wholesome values. The campaign included very expensive ads during the Olympics and Super Bowl. Immigrant babies in cages at the southern border and reports that the Trump administration is effectively kidnapping immigrant children by ripping them from their parents and then deporting the parents, is not the stuff of a corporate marketing campaign – thus the need to distance Koch Industries from Trump. There is also the fear that scenes of Midwest farmers burning their fields a few months before the November election because of massive crop surpluses resulting from Trump’s trade war might further harm the reputation of Koch Industries, which hails from Wichita, Kansas.

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