by WorldTribune Staff, September 14, 2016
Former Secretary of State Colin Powell warned Hillary Clinton’s “mafia” about dragging him into “emailgate” and noted that the Democratic presidential candidate “keeps tripping into these character minefields,” newly leaked emails reveal.
“Been having fun with emailgate,” Powell wrote to Beth Jones on March 9, 2015, days after news broke that Clinton used a personal email account and private server as secretary of state.
“Hillary’s Mafia keeps trying to suck me into it,” he continued.
The emails were published by DC Leaks and span the period between June 2014 and August of this year.
It is unclear who Powell’s correspondent is, but a Beth Jones currently serves as assistant secretary for Near Eastern Affairs at the State Department.
“Is this fatal for her?” Jones asks.
“Not unless she keeps diggin deeper,” Powell responded.
A report in The Daily Caller noted that Clinton’s campaign and her media surrogates have “cited Powell’s use of a personal AOL account” while at the State Department to downplay Clinton’s own use of private email to send classified information.
“But one major difference was that Powell did not host a private email server in his home, as Clinton did. He also used the State Department’s classified messaging system to send and receive classified information. Clinton was granted an account on that system but opted not to use it,” the report said.
The newly leaked emails show that Powell warned Cheryl Mills, who had served as Clinton’s chief of staff, about continuing to link him to the scandal.
“You really don’t want to get me into this,” he wrote in a March 7, 2015 email. “I haven’t been asked nor said a word about HRC and won’t unless you all start it.”
Mills replied saying “agree and that message has been clearly shared. So she will not nor will anyone she controls,” Mills continued, adding that “I can’t address folks who are beyond that so please ping or call me when you see anything that worries you.”
On March 17, Powell emailed Mills to flag comments from Clinton adviser James Carville.
“James is out there screaming away about me and Jeb doing the same thing and getting away with it. Not only is he factually wrong it ain’t working He is just throwing more logs on her fire. Not knowing if anybody is controlling him (unlikely) I don’t think it helps you all,” Powell wrote.
“Got it – not sure he will listen to me (he hasn’t in the past) buy I will reach out to him tomorrow when I land back in DC,” Mills replied.
Last month, Mills and Powell had another email exchange after a report surfaced that a pro-Clinton journalist named Joe Conason was set to publish a book asserting that Powell advised Clinton to use a personal account at a June 2009 dinner party.
Powell initially said only that he did not recall the dinner party. But he offered a more direct denial days later, telling reporters at a social event that the Clinton team was trying to “pin” her email failures on him.
“Spent last week with Cheryl Mills and the HRC team burying the email flap,” Powell wrote on Aug. 28.
“Sad thing is that HRC could have killed this two years ago by merely telling everyone honestly what she had done and not tie me into it. I 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. She keeps tripping into these ‘character’ minefields.”
The leaked emails also show that Powell is not a fan of GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump.
When Trump publicized South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham’s personal phone number in July, Powell reacted saying, “Trump has no sense of shame.”
Powell said he was careful not to publicly criticize Trump in order not to entice him.
“To go on and call him an idiot just emboldens him,” Powell wrote.