April 10, 2017

Corruption In Action: Koch Brothers Position Themselves for Mar-a-Lago Chat with Trump

Corruption In Action: Koch Brothers Position Themselves for Mar-a-Lago Chat with Trump

Politico reports that on Saturday night Donald Trump had “a friendly chat” at his Mar-a-Lago resort with conservative mega-donor David Koch and his brother William Koch, both heirs to the giant Koch Industries chemical and fossil fuel conglomerate.

It seems the Koch boys just happened to be having dinner at Trump’s club with conservative publisher Christopher Ruddy, who, as numerous media reports have documented, is very friendly with Trump and often provides reporters with insights into the new POTUS’s thinking.

The incident illustrates perfectly the extreme strain of kleptocratic corruption that Trump has brought to the White House, making a mockery of his pledge to drain the Washington swamp.

David Koch surely realizes that if he spends his time and money at Trump’s club, enriching Trump, he becomes like Lana Turner at the Hollywood malt shop, primed to be discovered. If he pals around with his estranged brother William, a Mar-a-Lago member ($200,000 annual fee), and with a Trump associate like Ruddy, he gets an even better chance of face time with the president; David learned his lesson in December, when he tried to play golf on Trump’s West Palm Beach course with an undesirable, Trump biographer Harry Hurt, and Trump had Hurt ejected.

Ruddy surely realizes there could be benefits to hanging with real billionaires like the Kochs. And Trump may believe that he could become an actual billionaire in the long run if he plays this presidency right, meanwhile getting the benefits of possible Koch network campaign funding for 2020.

While William Koch supported Trump in last year’s election, David Koch and his fellow mega-donor brother Charles, the Koch Industries CEO, refused to do so. Trump in turn crowed that he refused to meet with the Kochs, didn’t want the Kochs’ help and that they “Cannot influence Trump.”

But so far the Kochs are doing well with the Trump administration, getting what they want on the issues that matter most to them: rolling back the efforts of previous administrations to protect our country against toxic pollution, chemical plant dangers, and global warming.  With fossil fuel industry lackey and Koch fan Scott Pruitt in charge of the EPA, no doubt the Kochs are salivating over the opportunity to destroy environmental regulation for the rest of their lives.  And with a growing number of former Koch operatives now inside the Trump administration, the bros may believe they can move Trump to where they want him on issues like taxes, infrastructure spending, and health care.

David Koch planting himself at Trump magnet Chris Ruddy’s table, at Trump’s resort, on a Saturday night is corruption in action. Trump stopping to chat is one more sign that this president has no intention of keeping his promises to working people. You’re not fooling anyone, Dave, and one hopes that Donald’s power to fool people is wearing off, as well.

This article also appears on Huffington Post