Billionaire Charles Koch has donated $3 million to a super PAC working to protect the Republicans' majority in the Senate, while staying on the sidelines when it comes to Donald Trump's presidential campaign, a Federal Election Commission report being filed soon reveals.
Freedom Partners Action Fund brought in $8.1 million last month, Politico reports with most of the money coming from Koch and three more donors.
According to the FEC report, shared with Politico
by the PAC,
other key donations came in from Wisconsin roofing billionaire Diane Hendricks, Arkansas poultry magnate Ronnie Cameron and Virginia coal investor Richard Gilliam, founder of the coal extractor Cumberland Resources.
Charles Koch, facing questions about his commitment to political spending, late last month donated $3 million to the super PAC which is spending heavily to protect the Republican Senate majority, according to a Federal Election Commission report set to be filed in the coming days.
The news comes on the heels of a report that Mark Holden, a top aide for Koch and his brother David, had met with Trump, his campaign manager and others in Manhattan this past week. According to sources, the meeting was short and Koch's side made no commitments.
"We are happy to talk to anybody and hope they understand where we're coming from, and they will have more constructive positions than they've had," Koch told USA Today
earlier in June.
But Koch has termed Trump's attacks on U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel over his ability to remain fair while presiding over a lawsuit against Trump University as being "racist or it's stereotyping," as well as being "unacceptable."
In April, Koch stunned conservatives when he commented that Democrat Hillary Clinton
may make a better president than any of the Republicans then vying for the job and derided the rhetoric of both Trump and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who at that point was still in the race for the GOP nomination.
The chairman and chief executive officer of Koch Industries Inc., in an interview with ABC's "This Week" broadcast Sunday, also criticized "a tax code that subsidizes the wealthy."
Further, Trumps stance on fiscal issues and trade do not match up with the free-market side the Koch brothers back, and their advocacy groups have indicated that they do not plan to spend money to back Trump, Politico reports.
The Koch networks have reserved $30 million in ad buys for key Senate races this fall and has already spent $12 million, including $10 million spent by the Freedom Partners Action Fund, the only super PAC in the Koch network, on ads for candidates in Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.
Meanwhile, Americans for Prosperity, the Kochs' grassroots activism group, spent $1.7 million for ads and campaigning for Ohio Republican Sen. Rob Portman, who is being challenged by former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland.
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