Hillary Clinton, desperate to keep herself afloat in a strengthening current of scandal, has been trying to grab on to anything and anyone she can to keep from going under. On several occasions, she has tried to use her predecessor at the State Department, Colin Powell, as a makeshift life preserver. And while documentation has surfaced showing that Powell gave Hillary some tips on keeping her personal and professional email messages separate, a new trove of leaked emails – Powell’s, not Clinton’s – reveals that Powell was deeply frustrated with her attempts to save herself by drowning him.
“I told her staff three times not to try that gambit,” Powell wrote in one of the leaked emails. “I had to throw a mini tantrum at a Hamptons party to get their attention. She keeps tripping into these ‘character’ minefields.”
At another point, Powell said that he “warned her staff three times over the past two years not to try to connect it to me.” He expressed doubt as to whether or not Hillary “even knew or understood what was going on in the basement.”
In March of 2015, Powell even referred to the Clinton campaign as “Hillary’s Mafia.”
When Hillary went public with the story that she followed Powell’s advice on handling email, the latter angrily denounced the strategy in a message to business partner Jeffrey Leeds.
“They are going to dick up the legitimate and necessary use of emails with friggin record rules,” he wrote. “I saw email more like a telephone than a cable machine. As long as the stuff is unclassified. I had a secure State.gov machine. Everything HRC touches she kind of screws up with hubris.”
That may be the most profound statement ever made about Hillary Clinton.
Powell’s emails show that while he has serious problems with the way Clinton handled the private server scandal, his disagreement did not come from a place of partisanship. Powell served under Republican President George W. Bush, but the leaked emails revealed that he has no love for Hillary’s opponent. At times, he called Donald Trump “a national disgrace” and said that he was an “international pariah.”
Regardless of Powell’s feelings on the 2016 race, which are nearly irrelevant, the fact remains that he was an honorable Secretary of State who – despite Clinton’s attempts to make it seem otherwise – did not send and receive thousands of classified messages from a private, unsecured server. She did. And this life preserver, like all the others, is not going to save her.