Newly revealed emails hacked from the private account of former Republican secretary of state Colin Powell show the retired four-star general repeatedly blasting Donald Trump, describing him as a “national disgrace” who engaged in a “racist” movement.
A spokesperson for Colin Powell told ABC tonight that the emails revealed “are accurate,” and declined any further comment.
Much of the content of these emails was first reported by the website Buzzfeed, and ABC News has not independently obtained the emails. Buzzfeed quotes Powell in one email from June 17, 2016, to Emily Miller, a journalist and former aide of Powell. Powell writes that Trump “is in the process of destroying himself, no need for Dems to attack him.”
In another email Powell describes Trump’s birther investigation as a “racist” movement that incorrectly suggests Obama was born in a foreign country.
“Yup, the whole birther movement was racist,” Powell wrote. He also said Trump wanted to know if Obama was a Muslim. “As I have said before, ‘What if he was?’ Muslims are born as Americans everyday.”
Buzzfeed reports that it obtained the emails from the website DCLeaks.com, a group that is suspected of having ties to Russian cyber spies. The private cyber security firm ThreatConnect has reported its suspicion that DCLeaks was a Russia-backed operation, linked to the notorious hacker Guccifer 2.0, who on Tuesday released more data stolen from the Democratic National Committee.
The conservative news outlet Daily Caller also reported tonight that two years of Powell emails have been stolen, ranging from June 2014 to August 2016.
Colin Powell. Photo: Kazuhiro Nogi/AFP/Getty Images
Colin Powell: “Everything HRC touches she kind of screws up with hubris”
Former Secretary of State Colin Powell attempted to discourage Hillary Clinton and her team from using him as a scapegoat for her private email server problems, according to newly leaked emails from Powell’s Gmail account.
“Sad thing,” Powell wrote to one confidant, “HRC could have killed this two years ago by merely telling everyone honestly what she had done and not tie me to it.”
“I told her staff three times not to try that gambit. I had to throw a mini tantrum at a Hampton’s party to get their attention. She keeps tripping into these ‘character’ minefields,” Powell lamented. He noted that he had tried to settle the matter by meeting with Clinton aide Cheryl Mills in August.
Powell’s private messages were leaked by D.C. Leaks, an anonymously managed website that shares hacked emails from U.S. military and political figures. D.C. Leaks has a relationship with Guccifer 2.0, a hacker that many allege to have ties with Russian intelligence. D.C. Leaks provided access to Powell’s emails to a number of reporters on Tuesday.
The emails show Powell regularly corresponding with reporters and friends about the Clinton email server scandal, explaining that his situation was different. When Powell arrived at the State Department, the information technology system was badly dated, he argued. And unlike Clinton, Powell never set up a private server. Instead, he used his personal AOL account, on a server maintained by AOL, and used a government computer for classified communications.
“It is no secret that I used a unclassified personal email account in addition to my classified State computer,’” Powell wrote to the New York Times’ Amy Chozick. He implored the dozens of reporters and producers who emailed him to read his book, It Worked for Me: In Life and Leadership, in which he devoted an entire chapter to his efforts to revamp the State Department’s IT system.
The Clinton campaign’s effort to blur the lines between Clinton’s private email server and Powell’s AOL account left Powell deeply frustrated.
“They are going to dick up the legitimate and necessary use of emails with friggin record rules. I saw email more like a telephone than a cable machine,” Powell wrote last year to his business partner Jeffrey Leeds. “As long as the stuff is unclassified. I had a secure State.gov machine. Everything HRC touches she kind of screws up with hubris.”
Powell added in a tangential complaint: “I told you about the gig I lost at a University because she so overcharged them they came under heat and couldn’t any fees for awhile. I should send her a bill.”
Clinton sought Powell’s advice at a dinner on June 16, 2009 at former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright’s house, according to the emails. Powell gave Clinton “written guidance on why and how [he] had been doing it.” Also in attendance were former secretaries of state Condoleezza Rice, Lawrence Eagleburger, George Schultz, Warren Christopher, James Baker and Henry Kissinger.
“Dumb. She should have done a ‘Full Monty’ at the beginning,” Powell wrote. He added: “I warned her staff three times over the past two years not to try to connect it to me. I am not sure HRC even knew or understood what was going on in the basement.”
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