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Vox Sentences: The GOP puts the Kochs on ice

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The RNC Koch-blocks; Qataris must jump through hoops to go on Hajj.

Republicans have begun to sever ties with the Koch brothers

The GOP is feuding with the Kochs Bo Rader/Wichita Eagle/MCT via Getty Images
  • The Republican National Committee, President Trump, and Steve Bannon are at odds with the Koch Brothers, powerful Republican donors, after Charles Koch criticized President Trump over the weekend. [Financial Times / Courtney Weaver]
  • Koch said Trump’s trade policies are “unfair” and “detrimental.” A Koch aide also said the White House’s “divisiveness ... is causing long-term damage.” [ABC / John Verhovek]
  • The Koch network is overall unhappy with Trump’s policies on trade and immigration. [Vox / Jane Coaston]
  • Trump very quickly hit back with a series of tweets attacking the “globalist” Koch, whom the president claims he’s “beaten ... at every turn.” [HuffPost / Willa Frej]
  • The RNC, which has long been wary of the Kochs, began distancing itself from the brothers and their political network. RNC Chair Ronna Romney McDaniel said it’s “unacceptable” when groups prioritize business interests over one’s “country or Party.” [USA Today / David Jackson, Fredreka Schouten, and Eliza Collins]
  • Former Trump campaign CEO and White House chief strategist Steve Bannon thinks the Kochs should prioritize winning the midterm elections over having “theoretical discussions.” He added that they need to “shut up and get with the program.” [Politico / Alex Isenstadt]
  • But Bannon is really taking a swing at all prominent GOP figures that disagree with Trump. [The Hill / Niall Stanage]
  • The Kochs were going to donate $400 million to various GOP campaigns in the midterm elections; it’s unclear if this feud will change those plans. [CNBC / Ylan Mui]
  • Trump’s overall policies line up with the Kochs’ desires. But the Kochs diverge from Trump on his execution and governance. [NYT / Jeremy W. Peters]
  • Some find the idea of a Bannon-Koch feud amusing given that in the past decade, Republicans have won more elections at every governmental level than they have since the 1920s partly due to the Kochs’ immense support. [National Review / Jonah Goldberg]

Why can’t Qataris go on Hajj?

  • The governor of Mecca claims that the Qatari government is preventing its citizens from taking the annual pilgrimage, known as Hajj, to Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Of the 558,000 pilgrims who arrived by August 1, Prince Khalid al-Faisal said none of them were from Qatar. [Asharq Al-Awsat]
  • Qatar has denied these claims. QNA, the Qatari state-run news agency, reported that the government says there are three issues at stake: Qataris face many obstacles while trying to complete the pilgrimage, the Saudi Arabian border is closed to Qatari citizens, and anti-Qatari government rhetoric in the media is growing in frequency and popularity. [QNA]
  • The Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah, however, said that Qataris are more than welcome to go on Hajj. They just need to register online and travel through the Jeddah airport to access Mecca. But Doha, the capital of Qatar, has allegedly blocked Qatarian access to the website where citizens can register. [Arab News]
  • Qatari residents first encountered this problem in 2017, when Saudi Arabia severed ties with Qatar and issued an air, land, and sea blockade on the country because it felt Qatar supports “terrorism.” Qataris were forced to travel through different countries to access Mecca, though many say they were still turned away. [Al Jazeera]


  • The National Enquirer is finally starting to distance itself from President Donald Trump. [Daily Beast / Lachlan Markay, Asawin Suebsaeng, and Dean Sterling Jones]
  • 100 goats are on the loose in Boise, Idaho, and they are “eating everything in sight.” [Twitter / Joe Parris]
  • A Canadian sunflower farm was forced to close its gates to visitors after hordes of people causing destruction (to the sunflowers and each other’s cars) swarmed the property to get that perfect Instagram shot. Now the proprietor, who “used to love these flowers,” “can’t stand ‘em.” [The Verge / Patricia Hernandez]
  • A “rogue” planet is floating around just outside of our solar system without an orbiting attachment to any parent star. And it’s a dozen times the size of Jupiter. [Metro / Jeff Parsons]


“Online trolls and harassers want us, the Times, and other newsrooms to waste their time by debating their malicious agenda. They … want to disrupt us and harm individual reporters. The strategy is to divide and conquer … This is not a good-faith conversation; it’s intimidation.” [Editors from The Verge in defense of writer Sarah Jeong]

Watch this: Why the street gang MS-13 is an American problem

We need to separate fact from fiction about MS-13. [YouTube / Ranjani Chakraborty and Mallory Brangan]

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