from IBT 6/20/2017
Why The Koch Brothers Have So Much Influence On Trump: It Starts With Pence
By Lydia O’Neal On 6/20/17 at 6:14 PM EDT
Billionaire oil and gas magnates Charles and David Koch may not have supported President Donald Trump on the campaign trail, but the reality-star-turned-commander-in-chief is filling his senior White House official positions with people linked in some way to the brothers’ network: 70 percent of his filled senior White House official positions, to be exact.
That’s according to a new report from the Checks & Balances Project, which scrutinized the backgrounds of the 23 senior White House officials with “direct policy influence,” according to C&BP Executive Director Scott Peterson, and found that 16 of them have some link to the Koch brothers.
Some of the connections are tenuous, such as that of Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, who, in his previous capacity as Republican National Committee chairman, has worked closely with Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and House Speaker Paul Ryan, both of whom have long histories of Koch support. Others with stronger ties, such as Senior Adviser Kellyanne Conway, who sat on the board of the Koch-funded conservative group Independent Women’s Forum, are more familiar. And other longtime Koch associates in the White House have received somewhat less attention.