The network of donors and activist groups led by conservative billionaire Charles Koch will oppose Donald Trump for the 2024 Republican nomination, mounting a direct challenge to the former president’s campaign to win back the White House.
“The best thing for the country would be to have a president in 2025 who represents a new chapter,” Emily Seidel, chief executive of the network’s flagship group, Americans for Prosperity (AFP), wrote in a memo released publicly on Sunday. The three-page missive repeatedly suggests that AFP is taking on the responsibility of stopping Trump, with Seidel writing:
“Lots of people are frustrated. But very few people are in a position to do something about it. AFP is. Now is the time to rise to the occasion.”
The move marks the most notable example to date of an overt and coordinated effort from within conservative circles to stop Trump from winning the GOP nomination for a third straight presidential election. Some Republicans have grown increasingly frustrated with Trump after disappointing midterm elections in which he drew blame for elevating flawed candidates and polarizing ideas. But absent a consolidated effort to stop Trump, many critics fear he will be able to exploit GOP divisions and chart a course to the nomination as he did in 2016.
While the memo didn’t name a spending target, AFP’s affiliated super PAC spent more than $69 million in the 2022 cycle, according to Federal Election Commission disclosures. The Koch network joins the Club for Growth, another of the largest outside spenders, and several of the party’s biggest individual donors, such as finance billionaires Kenneth C. Griffin and Stephen A. Schwarzman in signaling their opposition to Trump’s current campaign. Others are holding back for now.