“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. Hope that happens to me someday,” Trump said in a statement.
Trump called Powell “a classic RINO,” an acronym for “Republican in name only.”
“He made plenty of mistakes, but anyway, may he rest in peace!” Trump added.
The former president’s criticisms were unsurprising.
Trump throughout his time in office criticized Powell and other architects of the Iraq War, including former President George W. Bush, for whom Powell served as secretary of State.
Powell, in building international support for the invasion of Iraq, presented faulty intelligence to the United Nations that claimed that then-Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.
Media reports widely noted Powell’s culpability for the war, while also giving accounts of his trailblazing status as the first Black secretary of State.
Powell was an ardent critic of Trump, particularly after the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol attack. He endorsed Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election.
Following the attack on the Capitol, Powell said he could “no longer call myself a fellow Republican.”
“I do not know how he was able to attract all of these people. They should have known better, but they were so taken by their political standing and how none of them wanted to put themselves at political risk. They would not stand up and tell the truth or stand up and criticize him, or criticize others,” Powell said.
Since Powell’s death was announced by his family on Monday, a deluge of bipartisan grief and praise for the former White House official has come forth from the Washington establishment.
“I feel as if I have a hole in my heart,” Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said. “The world lost one of the greatest leaders that we have ever witnessed.”