With the Presidential election in full-swing following the GOP and Democratic conventions, Hillary Clinton and Donald trump are expected to lock horns more frequently going forward. Already, Clinton has gone after Trump more directly than his Republican rivals generally choose to do during the primaries. Trump, for his part, has promised “no more Mr. Nice Guy”. One Republican ally Trump won't be able to count on, however, are the Koch Brothers and their massive funding network.

The Koch brothers had already announced that they won't support Donald Trump in his presidential bid, and have now made it clear that they also won't run ads against Hillary Clinton. Previously, Charles Koch had come on record stating that Clinton might actually be preferable to a GOP nominee, seeming to hint at Trump, among others. He also compared Trump's Muslim registry to Nazi Germany. The Koch brothers have been pivoting away from the Presidential election, and plan to focus on Senate races and local offices.

Who are the Koch brothers?

Charles and David Koch are worth approximately $44 billion dollars each. Together, their wealth exceeds that of Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, and Democratic bogey-man George Soros. Given their wealth and willingness to spend it on politics, their potential influence cannot be underestimated, especially in the post Citizens United era. Both hold strong free market, libertarian-style views on the role of government.

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Donald Trump

The Koch brothers helm a powerful political network that has funneled millions of dollars into the coffers of Republican candidates. In the run up to the 2016 election the brothers had announced that they were setting aside $889 million dollars. When it became obvious, however, that Donald Trump was going to secure the Republican nomination the Koch brothers decided to scale their spending back.

The Koch network, which includes at least 700 donors committed to donating $100,000 dollars or more per year, has a 2016 budget of $250 million to spend on the campaign cycle. It's believed that another roughly $500 million will be spent on educating Americans on conservative issues.

Trump vs. Koch showdown?

The two brothers have been highly critical Trump, and had already made it clear that they would not directly support him. In a rather public spat, Trump has claimed that he turned away the brothers, refusing to meet with them. The Koch brothers, on the other hand, claim that they never requested a meeting.

The two camps are now sniping at each other. Who's telling the truth remains to be seen, but given the Koch brothers open criticism of Trump, it's hard to imagine them offering much by the way of support.

Trump, meanwhile, has been fueling his populist rhetoric through criticisms of the Koch brothers and special interest money in politics.

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