Trump calls Colin Powell a 'classic RINO' who 'made big mistakes' in Iraq: 'But anyway, may he rest in peace!'

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  • Trump went after Colin Powell in a statement on his death, calling him a "classic RINO."

  • Powell died of COVID-19 complications on Monday morning. He was 84 years old.

  • The former secretary of state and four-star general was heavily critical of Trump.

Former President Donald Trump did not allow Colin Powell's death to prevent him from criticizing the former secretary of state, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and national security advisor.

In a statement reacting to the news of Powell's passing, Trump called him a "classic RINO" (Republican in name only). The former president also went after Powell over his central role in promoting the US invasion of Iraq in 2003 while serving in the Bush administration. Trump has repeatedly and falsely claimed that he was "totally" opposed to the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

"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. "He was a classic RINO, if even that, always being the first to attack other Republicans. He made plenty of mistakes, but anyway, may he rest in peace!"

Powell, who was a four-star general, in February 2003 delivered an infamous address to the UN Security Council based on faulty intelligence to make a case for the war in Iraq. He repeatedly asserted that Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was secretly stockpiling and producing weapons of mass destruction (WMDs). The US invaded Iraq in March 2003, and it wasn't long before it became apparent that there were no such weapons.

Two years later, Powell called the speech a "blot" on his record, telling Barbara Walters of ABC News that the address was "painful" for him.

Powell, a lifelong Republican, was heavily critical of Trump and his approach to the presidency. He portrayed Trump as a danger to the country and endorsed Joe Biden during the 2020 campaign season.

"The one word I have to use with respect to what he's been doing for the last several years is the word I would never have used before, never would have used with any of the four presidents I worked for, he lies," Powell said of Trump last June. "He lies about things."

After Trump provoked a deadly insurrection at the US Capitol on January 6, Powell told CNN's Fareed Zakaria that he could "no longer" call himself a Republican. During Powell's final interview, which occurred with veteran journalist Bob Woodward in July, he accused Trump of trying to "overturn the government."

Powell died on Monday at the age of 84 from complications from COVID-19. He was fully vaccinated but his immune system had been weakened by treatment for multiple myeloma, which is a cancer of the white blood cells, per The New York Times. He also had Parkinson's.

Like other government leaders, former Vice President Mike Pence issued a statement on Powell's death that stands in stark contrast to Trump's.

"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. Karen and I are praying for his wife, Alma, and the entire Powell family," Pence said in a tweet.

Read the original article on Business Insider