Trump says Koch brothers are a "total joke"

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The billionaire Kochs and their nationwide army of conservative activists, however, are not giving in.

The Kochs have started speaking out against Trump, and recently said they would now fund Democrats as well.

Her Senate seat, along with those in West Virginia, Indiana, Montana and Missouri, are critical given the Republicans' narrowly 51-49 hold on the chamber.

The North Dakota Senate race is one of ABC News" key "18 for "18" races this midterm cycle.

Heitkamp is seen as one of the most vulnerable Senate Democrats up for reelection.

"Why would Cramer listen to this network if they knew we'd just support him anyway?" said Seidel. They have specifically criticized the White House over Trump's "protectionist" trade policies, which they fear could trigger a US recession in addition to a looming global trade war.

And in a variety of other ways, the Koch network remains closely aligned with the Republican agenda.

Koch has been far from muted regarding opposition to Trump's more isolationist rhetoric on trade and immigration dating back to the 2016 campaign. At around the same time, they launched an advertising blitz to criticize 10 Republican House members, including Pennsylvania GOP Senate nominee Lou Barletta, for supporting the massive spending bill.

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The development marked a dramatic escalation in the Kochs' willingness to buck partisan loyalties. "They have always been more libertarian independents", Short told CNN's Alisyn Camerota on "New Day".

"That's not right", he told the Associated Press.

Cramer has the endorsement of President Trump, and at a campaign rally in Fargo, North Dakota last month, said he will be with the president "100 percent of the time".

"We support policies that help all people improve their lives. They have been very helpful to Kansas, and Kansas' economy is starting to grow", Colyer said Tuesday at Hilltop Learning Center in Overland Park after casting his early ballot in the state primary.

Tom Shepherd, a businessman from OH and Koch donor, said: "I think that holding Republicans and Democrats accountable for decisions and votes that violate our principles is extremely helpful".

Trump also said he had made the Koch brothers richer. He dismissed the outcry from businesses in Kentucky and elsewhere as a short-term problem.

The decision not to back Cramer, as the network is trying to put on a more bipartisan face, was announced Monday at a briefing for more than 500 donors gathered for a three-day meeting at a luxury resort in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

In particular, the Koch brothers and their network expressed their opposition to Trump's fair trade policies and tariffs, which are resulting in ongoing clashes with US trading partners, and also the president's strict immigration enforcement and border security agenda.

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