Trump Attacks Koch Brothers After GOP Donors Shy Away From Candidate

President says industrialists are a ‘total joke’ after they said they wouldn’t back a Senate hopeful

“The globalist Koch Brothers, who have become a total joke in real Republican circles, are against Strong Borders and Powerful Trade. I never sought their support because I don’t need their money or bad ideas,”
.. At the conference, leaders of the Koch-backed political and policy groups said they wouldn’t support Rep. Kevin Cramer, a GOP Senate candidate challenging Democratic incumbent Heidi Heitkamp, because he has sided with Mr. Trump on tariffs.
.. Mr. Trump won North Dakota by 36 percentage points in 2016, and Republicans see Ms. Heitkamp’s seat as one of their most promising pickup opportunities in the November midterms.
..  The Kochs and many traditional pro-business Republicans oppose tariffs, fearing an increase in the cost of industrial supplies and retaliatory tariffs imposed by trading partners.
.. Mr. Trump hasn’t attended any of the Koch conferences, held twice a year at posh resorts. Those gatherings are typically a draw for Republican candidates, and Vice President Mike Pence has been a regular attendee. Mr. Pence spoke at a small Koch gathering last fall in New York.
.. During the 2016 campaign, Mr. Trump blasted his GOP opponents as “puppets” of donors such as the Koch brothers. In November 2015, Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter, referencing presidential rivals Scott Walker, Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio, “@CharlesGKoch is looking for a new puppet after Governor Walker and Jeb Bush cratered. He now likes Rubio — next fail.”