Former President George W. Bush’s deputy chief of staff, Karl Rove, said on Friday that Hillary Clinton needs to provide evidence for her claims that Hawaii Democrat Tulsi Gabbard and the Green Party’s 2016 nominee for president Jill Stein are Russian assets or “shut up.”
Rove made the remarks during an appearance on Fox News’ The Story with Martha MacCallum, The Washington Examiner reports.
According to Rove, Clinton’s latest comments show that she is “over the top, out of her mind.”
“Put up or shut up,” he told the former secretary of state, urging her to substantiate her accusations against the two women.
Rove said that Clinton needs to provide evidence that Russian bots are supporting Gabbard on social media platforms, just like she needs to come forward with the evidence that Stein’s 2016 candidacy was boosted by Russia.
Unless she is able to do so, he said, the former secretary of state should remove herself from the national conversation.
“Tell us — prove that that was the case. Or better yet, just shut up or go away.”
Rove described Clinton’s comments as “appalling,” wondering why she would “engage in this kind of bizarre activity.”
The former Bush White House official also said that Clinton needs to show the evidence — provided that she actually has it — to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and to the American people.
The people, Rove said, need to be given the opportunity to determine whether the former first lady’s comments are “just some rant and rave or whether she has actually got something to back it up.”
In an interview earlier this week, Clinton repeated the claim made in her book, alleging that Stein was partially to blame for her loss to Donald Trump in 2016. According to Clinton, Stein was boosted by Russia in order to help the Kremlin’s preferred candidate.
Apart from repeating her accusations against Stein, Clinton said that fellow Democrat Tulsi Gabbard is being “groomed” by Russia to run as a third-party candidate.
She provided no evidence for her claim against Gabbard, which caused even some prominent Democrats to side with the Hawaii representative.
Texas Democrat Beto O’Rourke and presidential candidate Andrew Yang both defended Gabbard, pointing to her military record to argue that accusations such as Clinton’s are inappropriate.
Jill Stein: "No, I am not a Russian spy. I think this is a completely unhinged conspiracy theory." pic.twitter.com/iq8ckOs2v8— The Hill (@thehill) October 19, 2019
CNN hosts Erin Burnett and Van Jones aggressively pushed back against the former secretary of state’s accusations as well.
Trump also joined the conversation, opining that “Hillary’s gone Crazy!”
Gabbard has ruled out a third-party bid, saying that she is “not entertaining” that option.