“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,” wrote Trump in a statement. “Hope that happens to me someday.”
Trump went on to call Powell “a classic RINO, if even that,” and claimed he was always “the first to attack other Republicans.”
“He made plenty of mistakes, but anyway, may he rest in peace!” the 45th president concluded.
Trump’s statement received mixed reactions, with critics calling it “beyond the pale.”
Neoconservative commentator Bill Kristol, who served as chief of staff to former vice president Dan Quayle, called the statement “repulsive,” while California Democratic Congressman Eric Swalwell called on Republicans to disavow it.
Others, however, endorsed Trump’s tribute, calling it “fantastic” and “true.”
“Colin Powell betrayed the American people,” argued one American, who accused politicians and commentators of whitewashing Powell’s record.
Another person tweeted that though Trump’s timing maybe wasn’t “quite right,” there are “some hard conversations to be had between now and the future about the decision-making that led to invading Iraq” and “people like Powell aren’t going to look good coming out of these conversations.”
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