- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 31, 2018

President Trump went after the “globalist” Koch brothers Tuesday morning, calling them “a total joke in real Republican circles,” after Charles Koch criticized the president’s trade policies.

Mr. Trump accused the billionaire Koch brothers — Charles and David Koch — of wanting to protect their companies outside the U.S. from being taxed at the cost of U.S. workers, saying they’re “two nice guys with bad ideas.”

On Sunday, Charles Koch told reporters at a donor conference that Mr. Trump’s policy could start a recession “if it’s severe enough.” The White House pushed back against the comments and emphasized that Mr. Trump believes in free trade but wants fair practices.

The Koch brothers have been consistent critics of the president’s hard-line trade policies. In June, their conservative political network launched a campaign to challenge Mr. Trump over his stance on tariffs.

The network is also breaking with the president in a key midterm race.

Americans For Prosperity, a branch in the Koch network, announced Monday that the group would not financially back Rep. Kevin Cramer in his North Dakota battle to unseat Democrat Sen. Heidi Heitkamp.

The president expressed his full endorsement for Mr. Cramer on Twitter Friday.

The Koch network also is supporting Mr. Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court, Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh, with a media and grassroots campaign of up to $1 million through Americans for Prosperity. The campaign is focusing on states with Democratic senators that Mr. Trump won in 2016.

Dave Boyer contributed to this article.

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