Pow­ell emails bris­tle with raw opin­ions

Hackers re­veal ex-sec­re­tary of state’s notes to friends not al­ways diplo­matic

Baltimore Sun - - NATION & WORLD - By Robert Barnes, Ellen Nakashima and Aaron Blake

WASH­ING­TON — Don­ald Trump is “a na­tional dis­grace and an in­ter­na­tional pariah” who gave voice to a “racist” move­ment to ques­tion Pres­i­dent Barack Obama’s cit­i­zen­ship, for­mer Sec­re­tary of State Colin Pow­ell tapped on his key­board.

Hil­lary Clin­ton, he typed in an email to an­other friend, is a “greedy, not trans­for­ma­tional” fig­ure who messes up ev­ery­thing she touches be­cause of her “hubris.”

For­mer vice pres­i­dent Richard Cheney and his daugh­ter are “id­iots” ped­dling their new book, and the Iraq War was mis­han­dled from the get-go by the De­fense Depart­ment’s top of­fi­cials.

The Pow­ell dis­clo­sures — more than two years’ worth, end­ing last month — were posted on a site that an­a­lysts have linked to the Russian govern­ment.

A Pow­ell spokes­woman at­tested to the au­then­tic­ity of the emails. “We have con­firmed that the gen­eral has been hacked and that these are his emails,” Peggy Cifrino said. “We have no other com­ment at this time.”

Pow­ell’s emails were posted on a once-ob­scure web­site, DCLeaks, which ap­peared in mid-2016 to pub­lish ma­te­rial hacked from “top-rank­ing of­fi­cials and their in­flu­ence agents.” The site claims it was launched by “Amer­i­can hack­tivists who re­spect and ap­pre­ci­ate free­dom of speech, hu­man rights and govern­ment of the peo­ple.”

But an­a­lysts at cy­ber­se­cu­rity firm ThreatCon­nect who have scoured the site say that its reg­is­tra­tion and Colin Pow­ell’s emails were posted on a web­site that an­a­lysts linked to Russian hackers. Web host­ing data align with a known Russian mil­i­tary in­tel­li­gence hacker group dubbed Fancy Bear.

The Pow­ell emails were as­sem­bled and posted un­der pass­word pro­tec­tion Tues­day night. Buz­zFeed and the In­ter­cept led the way, and re­porters found an un­var­nished re­flec­tion on Elec­tion 2016, U.S. war ef­forts in Iraq, at­tempts by Pow­ell to dis­as­so­ci­ate him­self from Clin­ton’s use of a pri­vate email server when she was sec­re­tary of state.

Trump re­ceives the brunt of Pow­ell’s harsh words, but a 2014 email to a Demo­cratic donor about Clin­ton is the def­i­ni­tion of damn­ing with faint praise:

“I would rather not have to vote for her, although she is a friend I re­spect. A 70-year per­son with a long track record, un­bri­dled am­bi­tion, greedy, not trans­for­ma­tional.”

Of the birther move­ment, which Trump led ear­lier this decade by pub­licly ques­tion­ing whether Obama was born in the United States, Pow­ell said its un­der­pin­nings were clear.

“Yup, the whole birther move­ment was racist,” Pow­ell wrote to jour­nal­ist and for­mer aide Emily Miller on Aug. 21. “That’s what the 99% be­lieve.”

In an­other email to Miller on Aug. 21, Pow­ell scoffs at Trump’s ap­par­ent ef­fort to reach out to African-Amer­i­cans in re­cent weeks.

“He is at 1% black vot­ers and will drop. He takes us for id­iots,” Pow­ell wrote. “He can never over­come what he tried to do to Obama with his search for the birth cer­tifi­cate hop­ing to force Obama out of the pres­i­dency.”

Pow­ell en­dorsed Obama in both of his cam­paigns.

He ex­pressed sym­pa­thy for Clin­ton about re­peated in­ves­ti­ga­tions by con­gres-

JIM WAT­SON/GETTY-AFP 2014

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