Former President Donald Trump slammed longtime Republican strategist Karl Rove on Thursday following Rove’s criticism of Trump’s first public speech since leaving office.
“He’s a pompous fool with bad advice and always has an agenda,” Trump said of Rove in a statement released by his office in Palm Beach, Florida.
Rove had rebuked Trump’s speech Sunday to the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) as “hollow.”
“There was no forward-looking agenda, simply a recitation of his greatest hits. People like fresh material. Repetition is useful to a point, but it grows stale,” Rove wrote in an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal on Thursday.
Rove also noted that only 68% of participants in a CPAC straw wanted Trump to run for president again in 2024 and he decried the former president for making “deeply misleading” statements about the 2020 election. (RELATED: Trump Repeats False Claims That 2020 Election Was ‘Rigged’ During CPAC Speech)
Rove, who was a senior advisor to former President George W. Bush, is the latest member of a growing list of Republicans whom Trump has attacked since leaving office. Trump recently lambasted Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell as “a dour, sullen, and unsmiling political hack” following McConnell’s repudiation of Trump’s behavior during and leading up to the Jan. 6 Capitol riots.
In his statement Thursday, Trump questioned Rove’s loyalty to the Republican Party, calling him a “RINO,” or “Republican In Name Only.”
Rove brushed aside Trump’s criticism in a statement, according to Reuters.
“I’ve been called a lot of things in my career, but never a RINO,” Rove told Reuters. “I’ve voted for every Republican presidential candidate since I turned 18 and have labored only for GOP (Republican) candidates since then.”