Trump slams Koch Brothers for snubbing GOP senate candidate

Aaron P. Bernstein  ReutersSen. Heidi Heitkamp speaks with reporters ahead of the weekly policy luncheons on Capitol Hill in Washington

President Trump attacked them on social media Tuesday morning.

Trump bashed the brothers as having bad ideas and being "overrated".

"We've had divisiveness long before Trump became president and we'll have it long after he's no longer president", Koch said during a rare question-and-answer session with reporters.

But the libertarian-leaning organization has sharply parted with Trump and congressional Republicans on trade, immigration and other issues.

The midterm strategy could change in the coming weeks, but the Kochs now plan to ignore North Dakota's high-profile Senate contest, where three-term Republican Congressman Kevin Cramer is trying to unseat Democratic Sen.

I'm sure that Charles Koch regards Trump as a vulgar halfwit, no matter how much money the president is shoveling into Koch's pocket. But he'll have to vote the way AFP - and the billionaire brothers - want him to.

Trump has maintained a steady presence in the state, returning frequently to his winter home in Palm Beach.

John McConnell, who owns a Missouri-based company that manufactures laboratory equipment, said rising steel costs already have cut into profit margins.

Mr Scott is seeking to defeat Democratic senator Bill Nelson in a high-profile senate race. While the Kochs refused to endorse Trump's first presidential run, the president's loyalists don't want his 2020 re-election campaign bogged down by lingering bad blood. But they're still going to put $400 million into helping Republicans hold on to Congress this year, which is the greatest favor they could do the president.

"We have to make sure Rick Scott wins and wins big", Trump told the crowd. DeSantis has campaigned with Fox's Sean Hannity and Donald Trump Jr. and uses humour in a new ad to show his alliance with the president, teaching one of his two children to "build the wall" with blocks.

The network is holding education sessions for its activists across the country to extol the value of free trade and pro-immigrant laws, and countering Trump's approaches on both issues.

It's his first of two stops during a day trip to Florida. He predicted DeSantis will win against Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam in the state's August 28 Republican primary. "I can't imagine people in the Koch network supporting a Democrat in some of those elections".

President Donald Trump lashed out at the "globalist" Koch Network on Twitter Tuesday, just days after a Koch official criticized Trump's leadership skills and "divisive" rhetoric at a network gathering over the weekend.

The conservative Koch brothers' network declared Monday that it will not help elect the Republican Senate candidate in North Dakota, turning its back on the GOP in a marquee election - at least for now - after determining that the Republican challenger is no better than the Democratic incumbent.

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