On Tuesday, President Trump took to Twitter to attack the Koch brothers — Charles and David Koch, who have given millions of dollars to various causes ranging from free market think tanks to artistic and charitable endeavors. Trump was angered by their lack of support for his tariff program:
This sounds a fair bit like Bernie Sanders, but it’s pretty ridiculous to think that the Kochs have changed their principles on trade at any point. They’ve always been libertarian on trade. As Jim Geraghty notes, the Kochs have also been highly successful in picking and choosing candidates to support:
It’s hard to be “highly overrated” when you win most of your battles. In 2016, seven of eight Koch-backed Senate Republicans and 96 percent of all Koch-backed candidates nationwide won on Election Day. The Koch network spent $250 million in that cycle but effectively sat out the presidential race, as Charles Koch summarized the choice between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump as the choice between “cancer or a heart attack.”
The Kochs haven’t contributed to the race against Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) because they believe the Republican running in the race isn’t sufficiently fiscally conservative, and is too friendly to Trump’s regime of tariffs and subsidies. That’s not only their prerogative, that’s not rare — the Kochs don’t intervene in every race in the country. But Trump’s attacks are only justified by his ire that the Kochs didn’t shift their principles to meet Trump’s own bizarre economic theories.