Koch brothers turn on Trump over tariff debacle during annual donor conference
Charles Koch and brother David Koch are pictured in this undated combination photo. Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce/Handout via REUTERS, REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

President Donald Trump came under withering criticism at a yearly meeting of political heavyweights and donors assembled at Colorado conference hosted by the powerful Koch brothers, reports Politico.

According to the report, officials representing the billionaire brothers flayed the president over his tariffs as well as the "divisiveness" he has brought to the White House that is roiling the markets, with one spokesperson saying, Trump is doing "long-term damage” to the country.

“The divisiveness of this White House is causing long-term damage,” explained Brian Hooks, one of Charles Koch’s top deputies, to reporters at the conference. “When in order to win on an issue someone else has to lose, it makes it very difficult to unite people and solve the problems in this country. You see that on trade: In order to get to a good place on trade, convince the American people that trade is bad.”

According to the report, six months ago the Kochs -- Charles and David -- were solidly in Trump's camp as representatives of the billionaire industrialist lavished praise on the president for passing a tax reform measure that benefited wealthier Americans.

Trump's trade war with European allies, Canada and China has changed the game for the Kochs,  and was reflected in video presentation delivered on Saturday, where Charles Koch warned the current “rise in protectionism” represents a “a natural tendency, but it’s a destructive one.”

According to Koch spokesperson Hooks, Trump is not the only one to blame for the trade war that is affecting not only heavy industry but is highly damaging to the agricultural sector.

Hooks said there was a “lack of leadership” on trade and other issues adding it includes “the White House and a number of politicians who are following that lead.”

The report goes on to state that the Koch brothers are not dialing back their political involvement in the 2018 midterms, with plans to to spend $400 million.