Karl Rove Says He’s Known About Allegations Against Lincoln Project Co-Founder John Weaver Since 1988


Karl Rove revealed on Monday that he first learned of allegations related to Lincoln Project co-founder John Weaver as a Republican in 1988 as a Republican strategist in Texas.

“You mentioned this back in 2004, that this was a concern of yours,” Martha MacCallum said in an afternoon interview with Rove.

Rove noted that he didn’t mention it, but that the allegation was attributed to Rove in an Atlantic article that year. “I’ve actually know about this pattern of behavior since 1988,” Rove said. “All I want to say is that the 21 statements from those 21 young men that talked about how they were approached by Mr. Weaver — that statement speaks for itself. I don’t have anything to add to it. It’s a sad, sad, chapter.”

The New York Times published a story on Sunday detailing allegations by 21 men who said Weaver had approached them. The allegations were originally described by numerous journalists in January, including Scott Stedman and Ryan Girdusky — the latter of whom was first interviewed by Fox News host Laura Ingraham — prompting the Lincoln Project to remove a page listing Weaver on the group’s website.

A 2004 story by The Atlantic’s Joshua Greennow a correspondent for Bloomberg — described Rove made a relevant allegation about Weaver’s conduct during their time in Texas politics, but discounted it as a “lie.”

“The details vary slightly according to which insider tells the story, but the main point is always the same,” Green wrote. “After Weaver went into business for himself and lured away one of Rove’s top employees, Rove spread a rumor that Weaver had made a pass at a young man at a state Republican function. Weaver won’t reply to the smear, but those close to him told me of their outrage at the nearly two-decades-old lie.”

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