Colin Powell calls Trump a ‘national disgrace’ in hacked emails

BuzzFeed reports: 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. [Continue reading…]

The Intercept reports: 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 DCLeaks.com, an anonymously managed website that shares hacked emails from U.S. military and political figures. DCLeaks has a relationship with Guccifer 2.0, a hacker that many allege to have ties with Russian intelligence. DCLeaks provided access to Powell’s emails to a number of reporters on Tuesday. [Continue reading…]

The Daily Caller reports: The hacked emails reveal some people close to Powell expect him to endorse Hillary Clinton before the Nov. 8 election.

Former New Jersey governor Christie Whitman — a Republican who has said she will vote for Clinton over Trump — sent Powell an email in late July with the subject line, “Hillary.”

“Have you endorsed her yet?” the one line email said.

“Nope,” Powell replied. “By the way, if you have a WSJ today take a look at my piece on immigration. I can send it you missed. On Oped pages.”

“You’ll recall that in 2008 and 2012 I waited until early fall,” he added.

Powell confirmed the email chain’s legitimacy to TheDC.

On July 30, Powell emailed several people a link to a Huffington Post article on Trump’s then-budding feud with the Khans.

On August 2, longtime Powell friend and adviser Harlan Ullman asked Powell, “when are you going to throw the knock out blow?” [Continue reading…]

Whether a Powell endorsement of Clinton would indeed amount to a knock-out blow against Trump is debatable, but the release of his emails prior to such an endorsement suggests that one of several possible motives for leaking the messages at this time might be to make Powell have second thoughts.

More broadly, the latest batch of leaks — both the emails being circulated by DC Leaks and the new trove of DNC documents released by Guccifer 2.0 and promoted by Wikileaks — should make it clear that the overarching purpose here is to undermine the electoral process, not to enlighten voters.

Vladimir Putin’s government laments what it characterizes as an increase in “blatant Russophobia” which undermines “the shy and very fragile attempts at building at least some mutual trust [between the U.S. and Russia].” But if trust-building was Putin’s priority, he wouldn’t be authorizing his intelligence services to interfere in U.S. elections.

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