Former Secretary of State Colin Powell, a retired four-star general who served under three Republican presidents, slammed GOP nominee Donald Trump as “a national disgrace” and an “international pariah,” according to his personal emails seen by BuzzFeed News.
The remarks came in a June 17, 2016, email to Emily Miller, a journalist who was once Powell’s aide. In that same email Powell also said Trump “is in the process of destroying himself, no need for Dems to attack him. [Speaker of the House] Paul Ryan is calibrating his position again.”
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.
In an Aug. 21 email from Powell to Miller, he blasted Trump for embarking on a “racist” movement that believes President Obama was not born in the US.
“Yup, the whole birther movement was racist,” Powell wrote. "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."
Powell told BuzzFeed News, "I have no further comment. I'm not denying it."
“As I have said before, ‘What if he was?’ Muslims are born as Americans everyday,” Powell wrote to his former aide.
Powell then recounted President Obama’s qualifications, including his graduation from Harvard as an editor of the Law Review.
Powell went on to write that Trump’s reported adviser, Roger Ailes — the former chair and CEO of Fox News who left the company after allegations of sexual harassment — wouldn’t help Trump with winning over women voters.
“And Ailes as an advisor wont heal women, don’t you think?” Powell wrote.
In an email from May of this year, with the subject line “racism,” Powell reiterated a position he had taken in that past, writing, “Or as I said before the 2012 election, ‘There is a level of intolerance in parts of the Republican Party.’”
And in a December 2015 email to CNN anchor Fareed Zakaria, Powell recounted his aversion to speaking about Trump to the press, writing, “You guys are playing his game, you are his oxygen. He outraged us again today with his comments on Paris no-go for police districts. I will watch and pick the timing, not respond to the latest outrage.”
In another email, Powell wrote to a recipient about his aversion to giving Trump any more media attention: “To go on and call him an idiot just emboldens him.”
In a July 21, 2015, email, in response to a news article about Trump’s giving out US Sen. Lindsey Graham’s phone number, Powell called it a “Celebrification of society,” adding that “Trump has no sense of shame.”
Andrew Kaczynski is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
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