The Koch Brothers have notified donors that they will not support President Trump in 2020. This isn’t surprising. The Koch machine did not back Trump in 2016, and some of Trump’s policies — e.g. on trade and immigration — run counter to the Koch Brothers’ beliefs and financial interests.
Trump won’t be brokenhearted by the news. He won without the Koch Brothers help last time and probably figures he can do it again.
Still, it’s worth noting that the Koch machine has decided not to back Trump without knowing who the Democrats will nominate to oppose him. Suppose the Democrats nominate Bernie Sanders? Is it of little moment to free marketeers like the Kochs whether Donald Trump or a self-avowed socialist is president?
The Koch machine’s stance gives concrete meaning to the term “Never Trump.” If you’re a conservative who won’t support Donald Trump in a race against Bernie Sanders, you are, almost literally, “Never Trump.”
I recognize that there a few conservatives like this. Some will read them out of the conservative movement, but I don’t consider myself an arbiter (except in very obvious cases) of who is conservative and who is not.
What does this say about Jared Kushner, though? He was the Koch machine’s key ally on leniency for federal felons legislation. Now, apparently he’s pushing for immigration amnesty — the Koch machine’s next big ticket legislative item.
And he’s doing so in conjunction with the Koch-funded Libre Institute. According to Jim Geraghty:
Thursday, Daniel Garza, the president of one of the Koch network’s affiliate groups called the Libre Initiative, met at the White House with officials in the administration to discuss a larger deal on immigration reform. Libre Institute president Daniel Garza told HillTv hosts the meeting, which included leaders of other Latino groups, was “very constructive, productive. We felt Jared [Kushner] was an honest broker.”
Does Trump realize that Kushner is working with the Koch machine on immigration policy — Trump’s signature issue — even as Koch refuses to support the president’s reelection under any circumstances? Does he realize that Kushner is granting special White House access to a Koch-funded pro-amnesty group (the Libre Initiative), something he won’t do for groups like NumbersUSA that take the very positions Trump espoused as a candidate for the presidency?
Does Trump care? Or is his presidency more about family loyalty than anything else?