CLOSE According to multiple reports, Billionaire David Koch is stepping down from his company and political organization. Buzz60 Charles Koch (Photo: Robert Deutsch, USA TODAY) COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo — In some of their sharpest criticism of the Trump administration, leaders of the influential political network associated with conservative billionaire Charles Koch on Saturday slammed President Trump’s trade tariffs as “protectionism” that hurts American businesses and consumers. “The divisiveness of this White House is causing long-term damage,” Brian Hooks, one of Koch’s top deputies told reporters. “When in order to win on an issue, somebody else has to lose, it makes it very difficult to unite people to solve the problems of this country.” Hooks’ remarks came as Koch and more than 500 donors in his network kicked off a three-day retreat, where they are expected to plot the network’s course on everything from their growing support of anti-poverty programs around the country to the tough midterm elections in which Republican control of the House is in jeopardy. The network is expected to spend as much as $400 million on politics and policy in this two-year election cycle, further cementing its role as one of the most powerful forces in conservative politics. More: Ailing billionaire David Koch steps away from a conservative political empire More: Koch brothers plan to spend millions to fight Trump tariffs In one sign of the group’s political muscle, nine elected officials were expected a
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