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Charles Koch Aides Say They Refused to Meet With Trump, but Nominee Says Opposite

Image: Charles Koch Aides Say They Refused to Meet With Trump, but Nominee Says Opposite
 Charles Koch (File photo)

By    |   Saturday, 30 Jul 2016 08:39 PM

Aides to billionaire industrialist Charles Koch rejected forays by top Donald Trump campaign donors to meet Friday with the Republican nominee in Colorado Springs, but the developer said Saturday that it was the other way around.

"It is not going to happen," one of two key Republicans familiar with the effort by the Trump surrogates, told Politico.

Charles Koch and his brother, David, head a vast fundraising network that has pledged to spend more than $42 billion on down-ballot races to try to keep the Senate in Republican hands.

The Kochs were in Colorado Springs Friday to kick off a summer retreat of its network. Trump was in the city for a campaign rally and fundraiser, according to Politico.

The brothers have long expressed their disdain for Trump — and David Koch said in April that Democrat Hillary Clinton might make a better president than any of the Republicans seeking the job.

In addition, the Kochs contributed nothing to this month's Republican National Convention in Cleveland and neither attended.

But for the 2012 parley in Tampa, Fla, David Koch donated $1 million, becoming one of the convention's top individual donors, and he participated as a delegate from New York.

The Republican nominee, in turn, has slammed the Kochs in proclaiming his independence from such large conservative donors.

According to Politico, the industrialists were being urged to reconsider their stance on Trump by some of its donors — including Minnesota broadcasting titan Stanley Hubbard and Dallas investor Ray Washburne.

Trump allies had apparently lobbied for a meeting on Friday.

For his part, Trump posted this on Twitter Saturday:
Trump also said in a fundraising solicitation Saturday that his campaign had met a first-match goal of $1 million, vowing to personally match new contributions through July 31 up to $2 million, CNBC reports.

Meanwhile, Doug Deason, another Trump donor who has attended Koch summits, told Reuters earlier this week that he also backed a session between the parties.

"We think it’s really important that Donald convince Charles he’s the right guy, and for Charles to influence Donald’s policies," Deason said in a Thursday interview.

James Davis, a spokesman for the Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce, told Politico that no meeting had been planned between Trump and the brothers.

The chamber, which organized the Colorado Springs event, is part of the Koch network.

Davis noted that Mark Holden, a lawyer for the Kochs, had met with Trump and his campaign aides last month in New York.

"Our team has met with them before to discuss the issues that we care about and helping people improve their lives," he told Politico.

The Koch network's focus "remains on the Senate," he said.

Hubbard — whose broadcast holdings are in Minnesota, Wisconsin, New York and New Mexico — has been a Koch network member for many years, according to Politico.

Though he initially opposed Trump, that has recently changed — and Hubbard told Politico that he would continue to encourage the brothers to rethink their views at the summit.

He has donated $100,000 to a super PAC supporting Trump.

"Neither one of them [Hillary Clinton or Trump] are my cup of tea, but sometimes you bite your tongue and you choose the best of two bad choices," Hubbard told Politico. "It is time that we get behind Trump because of all the important things such as Supreme Court appointments, which are crucial."

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Aides to billionaire industrialist Charles Koch rejected forays by top Donald Trump campaign donors to meet Friday with the Republican nominee in Colorado Springs, but the developer said Saturday that it was the other way around. It is not going to happen, one of two key...
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Saturday, 30 Jul 2016 08:39 PM
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