Trump now courts the big money he once scorned

Throughout the primaries Donald Trump said that, unlike the other candidates, he was so rich that he was going to finance his own campaign and thus would not be beholden to the big money interests that contribute to campaigns and fund SuperPACs and thus get to buy access to candidates. This was one of the major factors that added to the image he created of being someone who was truly independent and not part of the corrupt political system.

But now that he has sewn up the Republican nomination and prepares for the general election, he has changed his tune and decided that maybe sucking up to the big money interests is not such a bad thing after all.

For starters, his team has scheduled meetings with representatives of the billionaire Koch brothers, the very poster children for the pernicious influence of money in politics. The Kochs have been publicly distancing themselves from Trump and have even said that they will not contribute to the Republican convention but that has not stopped Trump from seeking some of their doubloons.

The Kochs have been on a kind of rehabilitation tour to improve their image, playing up the few areas where they support good things (such as prison reform) while playing down the reality that they want to remove all government regulations that limit their businesses from operating freely and amassing yet more wealth.

Charles Koch has even coyly suggested that he might be open to backing Hillary Clinton but she has rejected his support, unlike her silence about neoconservative support.


  1. Reginald Selkirk says

    Keep in mind that during the primaries, Trump mostly funded his campaign with loans from his personal wealth, not donations. I am guessing that he will use Republican party money to pay himself back.

    The Kochs have been on a kind of rehabilitation tour to improve their image…

    Yes. I would wait a bit to see how substantive this is. I would want to see how much they give to anti-poverty efforts as opposed to their usual right wing political giving. I would also want to compare the money given to the money spent advertising the change. In short, I am suspicious that the change is cosmetic, not substantial. But maybe I’m wrong.

  2. doublereed says

    The Koch brothers plan will backfire imo. The Kochs did much better publicity-wise when they stayed in the shadows. Drawing attention to themselves in any way will just draw attention to how horrible they are.

    The Kochs donate to a lot of stuff (especially arts programs) so it’s not like all their donations are evil. They have their name on a lot of arts things, and that’s probably their best positive publicity. If all they talked about was how much they love the arts and such, maybe that would work. But anything the Kochs says about politics or their political views just draws attention to the fact that they buy politicians to do what they want.

  3. doublereed says

    I’m always a bit sad when I see an awesome tweet like that from Clinton but there’s no -H tag, which means it’s from her campaign, but not her.

  4. naturalcynic says

    About the Kochs… I have an elbow-jerk reaction producing a one-fingered salute to the beginning and ending credits of Nova thanking their funders, when David Koch’s name comes up. The derisive ironic sneer I have is about David’s “…furthering our understanding of science.”

  5. says

    I wonder if the dems are waiting for Trump to officially be the nominee before they start hammering on what is becoming apparent: Trump hasn’t paid any taxes at all for decades.

  6. Nick Gotts says

    Marcus Ranum@5,
    That should shore up his support against any leakage in the direction of Gary Johnson!

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