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Colin Powell Called Benghazi A "Stupid Witch Hunt" — And Condi Rice Agreed

Powell said about the fatal attack on the diplomatic compound in 2012, "basic fault falls on a courageous ambassador who thoughts Libyans now love me and I am ok in this very vulnerable place.”

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Former Secretary of State Colin Powell called the events surrounding and following the attack on the American diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, “a stupid witch hunt,” saying that fault partially lies with the US ambassador who was killed in the attack, according to personal emails seen by BuzzFeed News.

“Benghazi is a stupid witch hunt. Basic fault falls on a courageous ambassador who thoughts Libyans now love me and I am ok in this very vulnerable place,” Powell wrote in a December 2015 email exchange with former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice about US Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, who died in the 2012 incident.

Hillary Clinton was secretary of state during the attack, which was the subject of a special congressional committee and remains an issue in the current presidential campaign.

“But blame also rests on his leaders and supports back here. Pat Kennedy, Intel community, DS and yes HRC” — the last acronym short for Hillary Clinton, added Powell, who served under former President George W. Bush.

“Completely agree,” Rice responds, adding, “Let me know when you’re in town and we’ll have that glass of wine (or two).”

The website DCLeaks.com — which has reported, but not confirmed, ties to Russian intelligence services — obtained Powell’s emails. It may be the latest example of a Russian entity potentially trying to influence the US presidential election — in July, the FBI said it believed Russia was behind the hack of the Democratic National Committee’s internal emails right before they party’s convention.

Andrew Kaczynski is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

Contact Andrew Kaczynski at andrew.kaczynski@buzzfeed.com.

Talal Ansari is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York. His secure PGP fingerprint is 4FEE 894C 8088 7E08 E170 A515 2801 7CC6 95D3 11C2

Contact Talal Ansari at talal.ansari@buzzfeed.com.

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