Powell emails bristle with raw opinions
Hackers reveal ex-secretary of state’s notes to friends not always diplomatic
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-