Colin Powell labeled Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump a “national disgrace” in a personal email exchange from earlier this year, which was leaked online by hackers.
The Republican former secretary of state, 79 — who is a retired four-star general — confirmed the authenticity of the emails to NBC News on Wednesday, September 14. “The hackers have a lot more,” he told the outlet.
The contents of the emails — which were released via DCLeaks.com — were first reported by BuzzFeed News. DCLeaks.com is rumored to have ties to Russian intelligence services, according to MSNBC.
Aside from calling Trump, 70, a “national disgrace” in a June email conversation with a former aide, Powell referred to him as an “international pariah” and even said that the ex–Celebrity Apprentice host is "in the process of destroying himself, no need for Dems to attack him."
In another note to the same colleague, Powell called out Trump for his “birther” movement, which he deemed racially offensive. The remark was made in response to the real estate tycoon turned politician’s once-incessant claim that President Barack Obama was not born in the United States.
“Yup, the whole birther movement was racist," Powell wrote, according to BuzzFeed. "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."
Aside from his opinions on Trump, Powell’s emails also revealed that he grew tired of being brought into Hillary Clinton’s email scandal. As previously reported, the Democratic presidential nominee, 68, sent confidential information over a private email server while she was serving as secretary of state from 2009 to 2013. (After an investigation was completed in July, the FBI recommended no charges be brought against her.)
The Clinton campaign previously made an attempt to equate Powell’s use of private email accounts during his tenure as secretary of state (underneath George W. Bush, from 2001 to 2005) to Clinton’s ordeal in defense of the former first lady.
"I have told Hilleary's [sic] minions repeatedly that they are making a mistake trying to drag me in,” Powell wrote. “Yet, they still try it.”
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