Donald Trump is too terrifying for the GOP: Even the Koch brothers cower away from criticism in fear of his blowback

New NYT report says Kochs will remain on the sidelines, "reluctant to incur more ferocious counterattacks"

By Sophia Tesfaye

Senior Politics Editor

Published December 1, 2015 8:38PM (EST)

  (AP/Mark Lennihan/John Minchillo/Photo montage by Salon)
(AP/Mark Lennihan/John Minchillo/Photo montage by Salon)

The New York Times is out with a new report today revealing the debilitating depths of the GOP establishment's fear of a dominating Donald Trump overrunning the Republican presidential primary process to win the nomination.

Even the most well funded GOP backed political organization, like the ominous Koch network which has pledged to spend nearly $900 million on the 2016 race, has opted out of directly challenging the domineering frontrunner for fear of setting off a war of words with the one-man insult machine and former "Apprentice" boss.

In fact, according to the Times, Charles and David Koch abandoned their early effort to undercut Trump's rise for fear of "more ferocious counterattacks" being lobbed their way by The Donald:

Two of the most potent financial networks in Republican politics, that of the hedge-fund billionaire Paul Singer and another led by the industrialists Charles G. and David H. Koch, have each had preliminary conversations about beginning an anti-Trump campaign, according to strategists involved. But Mr. Trump has already mocked Mr. Singer and the Kochs, and officials linked to them said they were reluctant to incur more ferocious counterattacks.

"You have to deal with Trump berating you every day of the week,” explained a strategist briefed on the thinking of both groups.

With Trump proving he has the gall to mock the physical disabilities of those with whom he disagrees, it is no wonder the elderly billionaires want to keep their anti-Trump antics, like so much of their political dealings, shrouded in secrecy.  Just because the Kochs are abstaining from funding anti-Trump campaign ads like Ohio Governor's John Kasich's Super PAC has done, doesn't mean they've given up all avenues of hamstringing the presidential wannabe. Trump was one of the only top-tier candidates not invited to the brother's exclusive annual summer gathering and they've denied his campaign access to their state-of-the-art voter database.

By Sophia Tesfaye

Sophia Tesfaye is Salon's senior editor for news and politics, and resides in Washington, D.C. You can find her on Twitter at @SophiaTesfaye.

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2016 Republican Primary Donald Trump Gop Civil War Koch Brothers The Koch Brothers