The normally reserved Powell was caught taking pointed shots at Trump, Dick Cheney and Hillary Clinton.
There was a time when Colin Powell was an untouchable, unshakable international figure. Now, he’s what one magazine calls, “Your bitchiest friend.”
Once upon a time, the retired four-star general was seen as the best contender to become America’s first black president. His resume was incredible and he took a moderate view on national affairs that seemed perfectly aligned to dominate in the era of “third way” politics that came to define much of the 1990’s. But people under 30 know him best as the guy who embarrassed himself in front of the United Nations with debunked intelligence used to help justify the Iraq War.
Today, Powell is back in the news in a big way. A hacking group with reported ties to Russia leaked a number of his private emails in which the former Secretary of State unleashes on Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, calling the mogul a “national disgrace,” who “ just looks stupid trying to appeal to blacks and Latinos.”
And on Trump going all-in on the birther movement a few years ago:
“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. As I have said before, ‘What if he was?’ Muslims are born as Americans everyday.”
Powell hasn’t been shy about straying away from the Republican Party he called home for decades (he endorsed Obama in ’08 and again in ’12) but these new emails show a completely different side to his normal laid back character.
And Powell didn’t reserve all of his ammunition for Trump, taking shots at Dick Cheney and even Hillary Clinton.
On Cheney, who has largely redirected his efforts to helping his daughter’s wobbling political career:
“[The Cheneys] are idiots and spent force peddling a book that ain’t going nowhere.”
And on Clinton:
“I would rather not have to vote for her, although she is a friend I respect. A 70-year-old person with a long track record, unbridled ambition, greedy, not transformational, with a husband still dicking bimbos at home (according to the NYP).”
And on Hillary’s email scandal:
“H.R.C. could have killed this two years ago by merely telling everyone honestly what she had done and not tie me into it.”
Now, old Colin Powell would have done backflips to explain these quips away with some soothing public relations banter. But new Colin Powell is like the honey badger of American politics, refusing to budge when confronted by the press, simply telling BuzzFeed, “Ok. Bye, bye,” before hanging up the phone.