Former President Donald Trump trashed Gen. Colin Powell on Tuesday, one day after he died due to “complications from COVID-19.”
“Wonderful to see Colin Powell, who made big mistakes on Iraq and famously, so-called weapons of mass destruction, be treated in death so beautifully by the Fake News Media,” Trump wrote in a statement. “Hope that happens to me someday. He was a classic RINO [Republican In Name Only], if even that, always being the first to attack other Republicans.”
“He made plenty of mistakes, but anyway, may he rest in peace!” the former president concluded.
Trump criticized Powell throughout his presidency, calling him “a real stiff who was very responsible for getting us into the disastrous Middle East War” in 2020 upon learning the retired general planned to vote for now-President Joe Biden.
Powell came under fire during former President George W. Bush’s time in office for pushing unsound intelligence while advocating for the Iraq War. He spoke to the United Nations in 2003 and described alleged Iraqi weapons programs, which was later revealed to be wrong.
The former general called the speech as a “blot” on his record and told ABC News in 2005 it is still “painful.” He criticized Trump in his later years as well and accused the former president of trying to “overturn the government” in what would mark his last interview.
“Trump refuses to acknowledge that he wasn’t reelected. He has people who go along with him on that,” Powell told journalist Bob Woodward in July according to Business Insider. “”It was awful. He was going in there to overturn the government.”
Powell died at age 84 and suffered from multiple myeloma, according to NBC News, which is a type of blood cancer that weakens a person’s ability to stave off infections. He was fully vaccinated.
The media largely acknowledged Powell’s “blot” on his record while also noting his status as a trailblazer. Powell was the first black U.S. secretary of state, the first black national secretary advisor and was the highest-ranking black public official ever when sworn in as secretary of state in 2001.
“By the time he retired from the military, he was arguably the most respected and celebrated American in uniform,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Monday. “After that career, Colin Powell could’ve enjoyed a quieter life … instead, he started a new career in diplomacy.”