After the Koch political network criticized Republicans and suggested that it may begin supporting some Democratic candidates in the future, the Republican National Committee is telling major donors to stay away from Koch-affiliated organizations, Politico reported.
Charles Koch and Koch network representatives said over the weekend they will be more selective about the candidates they support in the future, citing disagreements about economic policies.
"Some groups who claim to support conservatives forgo their commitment when they decide their business interests are more important than those of the country or party," wrote RNC chairwoman Ronna McDaniel to donors. "This is unacceptable."
Why is the conflict escalating?
After the Koch network comments over the weekend, President Donald Trump shot back on Twitter, saying the Koch brothers have become a "total joke" among Republicans, and that he doesn't want or need their "money or bad ideas."
Trump continued his attacks on Charles Koch on Thursday.
"Charles Koch of Koch Brothers, who claims to be giving away millions of dollars to politicians even though I know very few who have seen this (?), now makes the ridiculous statement that what President Trump is doing is unfair to 'foreign workers,'" Trump tweeted. "He is correct, AMERICA FIRST!"
Did the RNC see this coming?
McDaniel, in her memo to donors, wrote that her organization was always concerned about what could happen if the Koch's extensive political network turned against Republicans.
"From the beginning, the RNC had concerns about any outside entity building a data operation to compete with ours because we knew they could potentially weaponize that data against Republicans if their business interests conflicted with electing Republicans," McDanial wrote. "Sadly, our concerns were recently proven true."
Did the Kochs respond?
A spokesman for Koch released a statement that didn't address the RNC's memo.
"We have a long-term commitment to unite around issues that will help people improve their lives," said spokesman James Davis, according to Politico. "Just as we have in the past, we will work together with the President, elected officials and others where we disagree. And, where we disagree, we will do so in a civil way."
(H/T The Hill)