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Rove responds to reports he's advising Trump campaign

Former White House strategist Karl RoveKarl Christian RoveThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Trump, Biden set for dueling town halls amid battleground blitz Wireless industry calls on Trump to oppose efforts to nationalize 5G amid Pentagon push Trump's drive around Walter Reed: Good instinct or a bad gamble? MORE pushed back Friday at reports that said he is advising the Trump campaign, but said he does give “unvarnished advice” to Trump's campaign when it contacts him.

Rove said he is friends with Trump campaign manager Brad ParscaleBradley (Brad) James ParscaleMORE, and that Parscale calls him from time to time.

“Well, first of all, don’t believe everything you read in the press," Rove said in an interview with Fox News Radio's "The Guy Benson Show" on Friday.

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Rove said he likes Parscale and "I consider him a friend. I’ve become quite a fan."

"I think he’s got a sharp mind and great instincts, and he’s actually called and asked — having been through this drill trying to reelect a president myself, he’s kind enough to call and occasionally say ‘what do you think about this’ or ‘should I be worried about that,'" said Rove, who was considered the master strategist for former President George W. Bush's campaigns.

"The idea that I’m somehow deeply engrained in the Trump campaign … I’ve got a busy life with Fox and Wall Street Journal and speeches,” added Rove, a political contributor to Fox News and a columnist for the Journal.

When Benson asked if it would be fair to say he was "occasionally informally advising the Trump campaign,” Rove responded, “I think that’s even too far."

"Occasionally he’s even kind enough to call me and say ‘what do you think about this,’ so — and I’m happy to give him my unvarnished advice and he can do with it what he will,” he added.

Rove said that he expects the presidential election between Trump and presumptive Democratic nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden: Trump 'continues to lie to us' about coronavirus Rally crowd chants 'lock him up' as Trump calls Biden family 'a criminal enterprise' Undecided voters in Arizona wary of Trump, crave stability MORE to be close.

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"I think there’s going to be a close election and I think the personal conduct of both candidates, particularly in the period after the convention, is going to be critical," Rove said.

Rove, who has been critical of both parties, most recently appeared on Fox News Monday calling President Obama's commencement speeches over the weekend a "political drive-by shooting."

"It is so unseemly for a former president to take the virtual commencement ceremony for a series of historically black colleges and universities and turn it into a political drive-by shooting,” Rove said Monday on “Fox & Friends.”