Who is Karl Rove's wife Karen Johnson? Republican called 'pompous fool' by Trump had two failed marriages

Rove was rumored to be having an affair with Johnson during his marriage to his second wife


                            Who is Karl Rove's wife Karen Johnson? Republican called 'pompous fool' by Trump had two failed marriages
Karl Rove with wife Karen Johnson (Legal Schnauzer)

Donald Trump branded his 2020 campaign strategist Karl Rove a 'pompous fool' and 'RINO of the highest order', after issuing a statement with a scathing rant about the latter on Thursday, March 4, 2021. Trump blamed Rove for the GOP's defeat in the January Senate runoff election and said, "Karl Rove has been losing for years now, except for himself." The rant came just a day after Rove wrote an op-ed in Wall Street Journal criticizing Trump's speech at the CPAC 2021 and presented his opinion against Trump's presidential run in 2024. Rove, in a statement to Reuters, dismissed Trump's criticism.
"I've been called a lot of things in my career, but never a RINO,' he said. 'I've voted for every Republican presidential candidate since I turned 18 and have labored only for GOP candidates since then. 'I have a different recollection of Mr Trump's views on 5G and our conversation election night. 
'I'll continue to use my whiteboard and voice to call balls and strikes."

The 70-year-old Republican strategist, Rove, also the former Deputy Chief of Staff to president George W Bush, resides with his wife Karen Johnson in Georgetown, Washington DC. Johnson is Rove's third wife whom he married in 2012. Rove was previously married to Valerie Mather Wainwright and Darby Tara Hickson. Let us find out more about Rove's former wives and his present marriage with Johnson.

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Who is Valerie Mather Wainwright?

Wainwright was a Texan socialite and Rove's first wife whom he married on July 10, 1976, in an extravagant wedding ceremony. Wainwright's family was friends with the Bush family and hailed from Houston, Texas. Her wedding with Rove was a remarkable affair. Afterward, Rove moved to Texas to stay near Wainwright's family. However, their marital bliss was short-lived as the couple divorced just four years later in 1980. 

Karl Rove (Getty Images)

Who is Darby Tara Hickson?

A graphic designer and breast cancer survivor, Darby was a former employee of Karl Rove & Company, where the duo first met. They soon got married in January 1986. Together, the couple raised their son Andrew Madison Rove, who later attended Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. The couple together renovated an old lodge on the Guadalupe River in South West Austin. They stayed married for 24 long years, but eventually opted for divorce in 2009. 

“The couple came to the decision mutually and amicably, and they maintain a close relationship and a strong friendship. There will be no further comment, and the family requests that its privacy be respected," Rove's spokesperson Dana Perino said at the time of the divorce. 

Who is Karen Johnson? 

Johnson became Rove's third wife in June 2012. The transportation lobbyist and GOP strategist got married in an intimate, small ceremony in Austin, away from the public eye. The wedding was attended by former president George W Bush and casino mogul Steve Wynn. Soon after the wedding, the couple flew to Naples, Italy for their honeymoon in Wynn's private jet.

In a 2005 report, New York Daily News explicitly spoke about Johnson's apparent 'affair' with Rove when he was still married to his second wife. The pair reportedly became close friends when Johnson was appointed by Bush for the Texas Good Roads Association. "Johnson now travels frequently between Washington, D.C., and Austin, where she often appears at Rove's side at parties," stated the report at the time. 

Four years later, the speculations were proven to be true after Rove's second marriage ended in divorce. In 2011, Washington Post speculated that Johnson might be Rove's girlfriend after the duo went on a hunting trip together. 

Johnson worked as a Transportation Lobbyist at the Infrastructure Solutions, Inc. lobbying firm in Austin. She owned a 5,000 square foot home in Austin which she put up for sale and moved to a ranch in Valentine, Texas. In 2009, she opened a public library in the rural town of Valentine in the honor of her late mother.