Colin Powell Attacked Hillary Clinton's 'Hubris' In Leaked Emails

He threw a "mini tantrum" in the Hamptons to get the Clinton campaign's attention.
Colin Powell complained in private messages about Hillary Clinton's email issues.
Colin Powell complained in private messages about Hillary Clinton's email issues.
Paul Morigi via Getty Images

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell ripped his successor Hillary Clinton for linking him to investigations over her use of her private email server during her tenure, leaked emails show.

“Sad thing it [sic] that HRC could have killed this two years ago by merely telling everyone honestly what she had done and not tie me into it,” Powell said in one email. He wrote that he “told her staff three times not to try that gambit.”

“I had to throw a mini tantrum at a Hampton’s party to get their attention,” Powell wrote, referencing an interview he gave to People Magazine at the Apollo in the Hamptons 2016 Night of Legends party. “She keeps tripping into these ‘character’ minefields.”

He had told People that “her people have been trying to pin” her use of emails on him. “It doesn’t bother me,” he told People. “But it’s okay; I’m free.”

Over the past two years, in response to questions about her use of a private email server, including from the FBI, Clinton and her campaign have brought up comparisons with Powell’s use of a private email account during his time in the same position under President George W. Bush. Clinton stated that Powell had even recommended she use private email.

Powell told People that he did not recommend the use of private email to Clinton until a year after she was already using a private server. Clinton’s own emails show that she sought Powell’s advice on June 16, 2009, about six months into her service and that he gave her written guidance soon after.

He explained in an email to Clinton how he used private email to keep some of his communication from going through official State Department systems and potentially becoming part of the public record.

“What I did do was have a personal computer that was hooked up to a private phone line (sounds ancient),” Powell wrote. “So I could communicate with a wide range of friends directly without it going through the State Department on their personal email accounts. I did the same thing on the road in hotels.”

He went on to state, “Government or not, to do business, it may become an official record and subject to the law. Be very careful. I got around it all by not saying much and not using systems that captured the data.”

Powell’s leaked emails were provided to representatives of, which has a relationship with the hacker or hackers who refer to themselves as Guccifer 2.0, which has been alleged to be connected to the Russian intelligence apparatus. This is the second time Powell’s email has been hacked in recent years. The now-jailed hacker Marcel Lazăr Lehel, better known as Guccifer, first hacked his account. BuzzFeed first reported on the leaked Powell emails Wednesday.

In another leaked email, Powell complained about Clinton’s speech fees costing him his own speaking payment from one university.

“Everything HRC touches she kind of screws up with hubris,” Powell wrote in an email to private equity investor Jeffrey Leeds. “I told you about the gig I lost at a University because she so overcharged them they came under heat and couldn’t any fees for awhile. I should send her the bill.”

In the same email Powell complained that the attention paid to Clinton’s emails will “dick up the legitimate use of emails with friggin record rules.”

UPDATE: 2:39 p.m. ― In yet another leaked email, Powell provided his thoughts on whom he would vote for in November.

“I would rather not have to vote for her, although she is a friend I respect,” Powell wrote in the July 2014 email, which was posted on Twitter by Will Rahn, CBS News’ managing editor for politics.

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