Former President Donald Trump on Tuesday criticized the late Colin Powell for “big mistakes” in Iraq and called him a Republican in name only one day after somber remembrances from both parties for the 84-year-old who died from complications of COVID-19.
The ex-president also said he hopes he gets similar treatment from the media after he dies.
“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,” Mr. Trump said. “Hope that happens to me someday.”
President Biden, former Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama and high-profile leaders in both parties praised Mr. Powell as a patriot and trailblazer in Republican administrations after the Powell family announced his death early Monday.
Mr. Biden and Mr. Obama noted that Mr. Powell broke from the GOP to endorse their presidential bids in 2008 and 2020, which appeared to spark Mr. Trump’s ire.
“He was a classic RINO, if even that, always being the first to attack other Republicans,” Mr. Trump said of Mr. Powell. “He made plenty of mistakes, but anyway, may he rest in peace!”
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, a Democrat seeking reelection in November, chastised the former president.
“Former President Trump’s comments on the late General Colin Powell are among the worst and most despicable things he’s ever said, which is saying something,” Mr. Murphy tweeted. “May his comments serve as a reminder of what our country sharply rejected last fall.”
Former Vice President Mike Pence’s comments on Mr. Powell‘s death had a different tenor.
“Colin Powell was a true American Patriot who served our Nation with distinction in uniform, as a four-star general, National Security Advisor, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs and as 65th Secretary of State,” Mr. Pence tweeted Monday. “Karen and I are praying for his wife, Alma, and the entire Powell family.”
Mr. Trump’s statement on Mr. Powell included a link to donate to his “Save America” political action committee.