Trump fires back at conservative Koch brothers network: 'I don't need their money'

  • Trump hammers the conservative Koch brothers' network over its criticism of his trade and immigration policies.
  • The attack comes after a Koch-linked group unveiled a six-figure ad buy to fight the president's tariffs.
  • "I have never sought their support because I don't need their money or bad ideas," Trump tweets.

President Donald Trump is tired of hearing the conservative Koch network's criticism of his hard-line trade and immigration policies.

"The globalist Koch Brothers, who have become a total joke in real Republican circles, are against Strong Borders and Powerful Trade," the president said in a two-tweet tirade early Tuesday. "I have never sought their support because I don't need their money or bad ideas."

Trump's attack on the billionaire brothers – "two nice guys with bad ideas" – comes after a Koch-linked group unveiled a six-figure ad buy to fight the president's tariffs. The Kochs did not endorse Trump in 2016 and their network has criticized several of his administration's policies, including a $1.3 trillion spending bill the president signed earlier this year.

But the president's aggressive trade policies have beefed up tensions between him and the conservative stalwarts.

Over the weekend, during a network retreat in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Charles Koch said he was worried that current global trade tensions could erupt into a full-blown trade war if Trump's protectionist policies become "severe enough."

The network is now overseen and largely funded by Charles Koch after his brother David stepped away from the family's company, Koch Industries, and political activities due to health problems.

The deep-pocketed organization has long benefited Republicans who have sought to cut taxes. It has lauded Trump for the sweeping tax reform package he signed late last year — a point the president was eager to make in his tweets Tuesday morning.

"They love my Tax & Regulation Cuts, Judicial picks & more," Trump said. "I made them richer."

The Koch network did not return fire or mention the president in its response to Trump's tweets.

"We support policies that help all people improve their lives. We look forward to working with anyone to do so," said James Davis, a spokesman for the group.

The Kochs have also struck a more moderate tone on immigration than Trump. The group favors protections for young immigrants in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. Trump moved to end DACA last year, but courts have so far blocked the administration's efforts to do so.

— CNBC's Brian Schwartz contributed to this article.