The web of conservative activist groups and donors informally known as the “Koch network” plans to oppose former President Donald Trump in the 2024 presidential primaries, reported The Washington Post on Sunday — breaking a years-long silence as the network has sat out “overt” politics for a few years.
“The move marks the most notable example to date of an overt and coordinated effort from within conservative circles to stop Trump from winning the GOP nomination for a third straight presidential election,” reported Isaac Arnsdorf. “Some Republicans have grown increasingly frustrated with Trump after disappointing midterm elections in which he drew blame for elevating flawed candidates and polarizing ideas. But absent a consolidated effort to stop Trump, many critics fear he will be able to exploit GOP divisions and chart a course to the nomination as he did in 2016.”
The Koch network’s plans were laid out in a memo released on Sunday by Emily Seidel, director of Americans for Prosperity (AFP) — the flagship group that coordinates the Koch efforts.
“The best thing for the country would be to have a president in 2025 who represents a new chapter,” said the memo. “Lots of people are frustrated. But very few people are in a position to do something about it. AFP is. Now is the time to rise to the occasion.”
The Koch brothers, Charles and David — the latter of whom died in 2019 — are billionaire business tycoons who built a network of chemical companies. For years, they were some of the most well-known right-wing megadonors and villains to liberal activists. After David Koch’s unsuccessful run for vice president in the 1980s, the two largely tried to influence politics from the sidelines, supporting the Tea Party movement in the 2010s and pushing Republican candidates who supported their libertarian philosophy of government.
The Koch brothers, despite their efforts helping to make Trump’s initial election possible in 2016, soured on Trump early in his presidency, and the feeling was mutual, with Trump publicly attacking them during his time in office.