Friedman reports that audio he obtained from the conference reveals that Charles Koch alarmingly referred to President Obama as “Saddam Hussein,” saying that the right had to fight the “mother of all wars.” He rallied his guests to donate millions of dollars to help defeat Obama and boost other right-wing causes. Listen to audio of these remarks obtained by Friedman:
Koch also read off a list of 32 donors who gave a million dollars or more to his efforts to build up far-right infrastructure. Mother Jones’s Gavin Aronsen notes that this list was largely corroborated by ThinkProgress research published in 2010. The list includes financiers such as Charles Schwab of the Charles Schwab Corporation and John Templeton, Jr. of the powerful John Templeton Foundation.
Politico’s Ben Smith suggests that Koch may have been quoting Saddam Hussein instead, not comparing him to Obama.