Colin Powell Bombs Bill, Hillary, and Trump
You’ve never heard Colin Powell talk like this.
The former secretary of state and four-star Army general who has been in the national spotlight since he was Ronald Reagan’s national security advisor let loose on Hillary Clinton (“greedy, not transformational”), her husband Bill (still “dicking bimbos”), and Donald Trump (a “national disgrace”).
The frank, biting version of Powell made public is thanks to private emails that appeared on dcleaks.com, a mysterious repository for hacked information suspected to be of Russian origin. Powell’s office confirmed to The New York Times that the emails were genuine.
His criticism of Hillary Clinton, for example, reflects a skepticism that you would respect from a man who served in a Republican administration.
“Everything HRC touches she kind of screws up with hubris,” he wrote in one email.
Powell’s negative appraisal was also tempered by his personal relationship with the Democratic presidential nominee, whom he got to know when he served as Bill Clinton’s chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and later when she served as his successor at the State Department.
“I would rather not have to vote for her,” Powell wrote in 2014, “although she is a friend I respect.”
Powell’s assessment was that Clinton had a track record of “unbridled ambition.”
The leaked emails also reveal Powell’s attempts to avoid being blamed for Hillary Clinton’s controversial email server setup. In recent days Democrats have been trying to take the heat off Clinton’s arrangement by releasing an email showing Powell giving her advice on how to use email.
“Sad thing… HRC could have killed this two years ago by merely telling everyone honestly what she had done and not tie me into it,” Powell wrote in one email last month. “I told her staff three times not to try that gambit. I had to throw a mini tantrum at a Hamptons party to get their attention.”
Powell also had a harsh judgment of Bill Clinton, who he served under, as someone “still dicking bimbos at home.” Powell had served as the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under the George H.W. Bush administration, and continued in that position for less than a year under Clinton’s administration.
It’s no surprise Powell doesn’t like Trump, but he’s kept that opinion to himself. In emails though, he was absolutely blistering about the Republican presidential nominee.
“He is at 1% black voters and will drop,” Powell wrote, citing the birther campaign Trump ran as a major reason. “He takes us for idiots.”
Of the birther movement, which Trump promoted, he expressed consternation that President Barack Obama was born a “secret Muslim.”
“As I have said before, ‘What if he was?’ Muslims are born as Americans everyday,” Powell said, adding that he thought “the whole birther movement was racist.”
The email leaks also revealed a juicy tidbit from former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who blasted former colleague Donald Rumsfeld for his handling of the Iraq war. Rice and Powell were discussing Rumsfeld’s assertion that he was always weary about establishing a democracy in Iraq
“First, we didn’t invade Iraq to bring democracy—but we overthrew Saddam, we had a view of what should follow,” Rice wrote to Powell. “If Don and the Pentagon had done their job (after claiming the right to lead post-war rebuilding—things might have turned out differently).” She later said Rumsfeld should “just stop talking” because he “puts his foot in his mouth every time.”