Billionaire Koch Says Politicians Offering ‘Frightening’ Ideas

  • Koch brothers’ political summit begins in Colorado Springs
  • Trump, Koch staffers differ over why no meeting with candidate

Billionaire political activist Charles Koch says he’s growing more and more disillusioned with politics.

“People are looking for answers and unfortunately by and large they’re looking in the wrong places,” Koch said during opening remarks at his 27th donor retreat in Colorado Springs, Colo. “They’re looking to politicians. And to me the answers they’re getting are frightening. Because by and large these answers will make matters worse.”

Charles Koch

Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon for The Washington Post via Getty Images

The retreat organized by Charles Koch and his brother David, influential industrialists with a broad network of philanthropies and conservative advocacy organizations, began Saturday. GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump visited Colorado Springs on Friday for a rally and a fundraiser.

The Kochs have refused to support Trump, despite pressure to do so from some donors in their network. Trump Saturday afternoon said it’s him who’s rejecting them -- he tweeted that he “turned down a meeting” with the Kochs. Top staffers for the Kochs implied in interviews with reporters that that wasn’t true.

The millions spent by the wealthy business leaders in the Koch network have turned them into a force in American politics that sometimes rivals the power of a political party. The network is viewed darkly by Democrats, who have villainized the Koch brothers as the masterminds behind a secretive political machine bent on aiding their own corporate interests.

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