- Rachel Maddow Show
Colin Powell, who served as secretary of state under President George W. Bush, called the 2016 Republican nominee for president a “national disgrace” and meted out other criticism in personal emails that leaked this week.
The website DCLeaks.com, which is thought to have ties to Russian intelligence, leaked the hacked emails on Tuesday.
BuzzFeed News viewed the emails, which are password-protected on the DCLeaks site, and found plenty of criticism for Republicans.
Powell called Donald Trump a “national disgrace and an international pariah” and a “disaster” in emails sent this summer. Powell also said that Trump “is in the process of destroying himself, no need for Dems to attack him.” And he characterized Trump’s birther movement, which questioned whether President Barack Obama was born in the US, as “racist.”
“Yup, the whole birther movement was racist,” Powell wrote in an August email to Emily Miller, a journalist who used to be an aide to the former secretary of state. “That’s what the 99% believe. When Trump couldn’t keep that up he said he also wanted to see if the certificate noted that he was a Muslim.”
He also criticized the media for giving Trump so much attention.
“I am being called by everyone re Trump,” Powell wrote to Fareed Zakaria at CNN in December. “It is time to start ignoring him. You guys are playing his game, you are his oxygen.”
Powell said in another email that “to go on and call him an idiot just emboldens him.”
And last year, after Trump revealed South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham’s phone number publicly, Powell wrote in an email that Trump “has no sense of shame.”
Powell, a retired four-star general, also trashed one of Trump’s top military advisers.
In July emails to his son, he called retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn a “right-wing nutty.”
“I spoke at [Defense Intelligence Agency] last month,” Powell wrote after Flynn spoke at the Republican National Convention. “Flynn got fired as head of DIA. His replacement is a black Marine 3-star. I asked why Flynn got fired. Abusive with staff, didn’t listen, worked against policy, bad management, etc. He has been and was right-wing nutty every [sic] since. I watched about five minutes on line of his talked [sic] and switched off.”
Powell also wondered “how he got that far in the Army.”
A spokeswoman for Powell confirmed to The Washington Post that the leaked emails are indeed his.
“We have confirmed that the general has been hacked and that these are his emails,” Peggy Cifrino said in a statement to the Post. “We have no other comment at this time.”
Powell also criticized Trump’s Democratic challenger, Hillary Clinton, in emails and said he’d “rather not have to vote” for her.