As others paid tribute to the ex-military leader, former President Donald Trump on Tuesday issued a short statement criticizing Colin Powell, the one-time secretary of state who died from Covid-19 complications on Monday, and the outpouring of praise that followed news of his death.
“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 Tuesday. The ex-commander in chief then went on to call Powell a “classic RINO, if even that” who was always the first to attack other Republicans.
“He made plenty of mistakes, but anyway, may he rest in peace!” Trump concluded.
Critics immediately rebuked Trump and his “spiteful” missive.
“No decent human being will defend Trump’s malevolent, spiteful, narcissistic statement on Gen. Powell,” wrote political scientist Larry Sabato.
“Given the chance to be gracious about someone’s death, or say nothing at all, Trump takes a decidedly different route,” said New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman in response to the statement. “And of course it’s larded in envy about coverage.”
CNN anchor Jim Sciutto refused to even link to the statement, writing, “Reading - but deliberately not sharing - Trump’s statement on the passing of Colin Powell is another reminder there really is no bottom.”
Disgusting. But not surprising. pic.twitter.com/dcpwXw7CzN
— The Lincoln Project (@ProjectLincoln) October 19, 2021
No decent human being will defend Trump’s malevolent, spiteful, narcissistic statement on Gen. Powell. But those Republicans who keep silent today will speak volumes about how Trump has debased them and their once-great party. Candidates with no courage never deserve our votes. https://t.co/nG1bPAf8Oa
— Larry Sabato (@LarrySabato) October 19, 2021
tRump’s statement on the passing of Retired General and first black US Secretary of State is pure evil. Donald Trump doesn’t have the ability to show kindness. His heart is pure filth and the racism that runs through his blood will not be easy to wash away. Worst President Ever!
— Richard N. Ojeda, II (@Ojeda4America) October 19, 2021