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08 June 2018, 03:52 | Darnell Patrick
Free Trade Puts GOP Megadonors On Collision Course With Trump
Billionaire conservative icon David Koch is stepping down from the Koch brothers' network of business and political activities.
His brother, Charles Koch, announced in a letter to employees of Koch Industries on Tuesday that David Koch's health has been in decline since he was hospitalized last summer. "Sadly these points haven't been resolved and his well being has continued to deteriorate", the letter mentioned.
Democrats criticized the brothers for their outsize role in American politics. Charles Koch saidDavid Koch will now hold the title of "Director Emeritus".
The groups now fighting President Trump include Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce, Americans for Prosperity and the LIBRE Initiative. They performed a pivotal function within the 2010 elections that put Republicans again into energy within the Home of Representatives.
The Koch Brothers have always been supporters of the Republican Party but Donald Trump has angered the family and three political groups that support them. The longtime philanthropist, who has supported vaunted NY institutions such as the American Museum of Natural History, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Lincoln Center, also funded a cancer research institute at MIT and has donated over $700 million to medical causes since his 1992 cancer diagnosis.
However, the Koch brothers, who are supporters of free trade, also are funding a campaign against Trump's protectionist policies and tariffs on key products like steel and aluminum.
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Using the money they made from their Kansas-based family business empire, the Koch brothers have created what is likely the nation's most powerful political organization with short- and long-term goals. For example, the Kochs were accused of being behind Trump's decision to pull out of the Paris Climate Agreement in January 2017.
The 78 year-old, who was diagnosed with prostate cancer more than two decades ago, has donated millions to battling cancer, and is a board member of the Prostate Cancer Foundation. According to an official biography, he has pledged or contributed a total of more than $1.3 billion to assist causes from cancer research to medical centers, educational institutions, arts and cultural institutions and public policy organisations.
Charles and David Koch's company has interests ranging from pipelines to paper towels.
They also support DACA and withheld their support for Trump in his run for president.
In contrast they spent $120m on the unsuccessful 2012 effort to topple Barack Obama.
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