The Republican National Committee (RNC) is reportedly warning top GOP donors to avoid affiliating with the Koch network, a move that comes as a feud between President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE and the powerful GOP mega-donor network intensifies.
“The most important thing to know is President Trump has continually made very clear that the RNC is his political arm and he has put his faith in the RNC as the entity that he works with to elect Republicans,” RNC Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel wrote in an email to party contributors, according to Politico.
The Koch network held their bi-annual retreat in Colorado last week where Koch representatives criticized the Trump administration and hinted they may support Democratic candidates over Republicans they believe demonstrate “inconsistent” values.
McDaniel blasted the Koch network, writing that “some groups who claim to support conservatives forgo their commitment when they decide their business interests are more important than those of the country or Party. This is unacceptable.”
The RNC has long been concerned about the Koch network’s data program that rivals the one created by the RNC, according to Politico. McDaniel argued in the letter that their program is built to help all Republicans while the Koch network picks and chooses.
“From the beginning, the RNC had concerns about any outside entity building a data operation to compete with ours because we knew they could potentially weaponize that data against Republicans if their business interests conflicted with electing Republicans,” McDaniel wrote in the letter obtained by Politico. “Sadly, our concerns were recently proven true.”
She added that the RNC, which maintains a system that stores and provides information for party candidates running up and down the ballot, “is the only entity which can be trusted.”
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A spokesman for the Koch network, James Davis, responded to the Politico report shortly after it surfaced.
“We have a long-term commitment to unite around issues that will help people improve their lives,” Davis said in a statement to The Hill. “Just as we have in the past, we will work together with the President, elected officials and others where we agree. And, where we disagree, we will do so in a civil way. This is what it will take to make progress on the issues and ultimately create a society of mutual benefit – where people succeed by helping others.”
The warning from the RNC comes as President Trump ramps up his attacks against the Koch network. Earlier this week, he tweeted that the “globalist Koch Brothers, who have become a total joke in real Republican circles, are against Strong Borders and Powerful Trade.”
The Koch political network, founded by billionaire GOP mega-donors Charles and David Koch, has pledged to spend $400 million during the 2018 midterm elections. But over the weekend, top Koch officials said they will more aggressively target Republicans who do not adhere to free-market views on issues like spending and trade.