Charles Koch Apparently Has a Nickname for Barack Obama [Updated]

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David Koch. Photo: Marc Stamas/Getty Images

The billionaire and right-wing bankroller was recorded at a private event calling the president "Saddam Hussein" — not exactly a term of endearment, but one that apparently was well-received by his audience. Mother Jones posted a complete tape of a strategy and finance seminar Koch and his brother David held recently for an estimated crowd of 300. The tape is something of a get, at least as Mother Jones tells it.


Audio technicians even set up outward-pointing speakers around the perimeter of the outdoor dining pavilion, according to sources, emitting static to frustrate would-be eavesdroppers.

"There is anonymity that we can protect," noted emcee "Kevin" — likely Kevin Gentry, a VP for the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation — as he gently urged guests to open their wallets in support of the brothers' causes.

Instead of anonymity, top donors can now expect to attract the notoriety that accompanies nearly every revelation involving the secretive Koch brothers: Mother Jones also printed the names of 32 people who donated more than $1 million to the brothers' causes, which include discrediting climate science. The list includes the Templeton family (who've donated big bucks to conservative causes before and who back the Templeton Foundation, which aims to marry religion and science), Charles Schwab (as in the brokerage), and a score of other, less familiar names, many of who have a long history of donating to Republican causes and candidates. Koch, it seems, wants them to go forth and multiply.


"[I]t isn't just your money we need," Koch added. "We need your energy. We need you bringing in new partners, new people. We can't do it alone. This group can't do it alone. We have to multiply ourselves. Just as to change the media we just can't have the judge. We need to clone him thousands and thousands-fold.

Does he realize that metaphor makes him sound like the bad guy–mastermind from a science fiction movie, which only plays into how the media writes about him?

Update: Politico's Ben Smith reports that maybe Mother Jones didn't do such a great job transcribing the tapes on the Saddam Hussein bit. He gave it another listen.


"We have, as Saddam Hussein [said] this is the Mother of All Wars," Koch is quoting Saddam, rather than making a comparison between him and Obama.

Luckily, the magazine posted the audio for its readers, so as they say over at Fox: We report, you decide.

Exclusive Audio: Inside the Koch Brothers' Secret Seminar [Mother Jones]
Exclusive: The Koch Brothers' Million-Dollar Donor Club [Mother Jones]