Former Secretary of State Colin Powell labeled fellow Republican Donald Trump a “national disgrace” and a cheerleader of the “racist” birther movement that questioned President Obama’s legitimacy, according to emails that appear to have been obtained by a hacker.
The emails were first reported by BuzzFeed News on Tuesday.
The website did not say how it obtained the emails, but when Powell declined to comment about their contents, he said, “I’m not denying it.”
On Wednesday, NBC reported that Powell had confirmed the authenticity of the emails and had said that “the hackers have a lot more.”
The emails were obtained by the website DCLeaks.com, which has been reported to have links to Russian intelligence, MSNBC reported.
In the emails, Powell called Trump an “international pariah” who “is in the process of destroying himself, no need for Dems to attack him,” according to the story.
He chided the media for their coverage of Trump, saying in another email, “To go on and call him an idiot just emboldens him.”
Powell, a retired four-star general who served in three GOP administrations, was once considered a possible presidential nominee. He raised eyebrows in Republican circles when he announced his support for then-Sen. Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential campaign.