Former Secretary of State Colin Powell called the events surrounding and following the attack on the American diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, “a stupid witch hunt,” saying that fault partially lies with the US ambassador who was killed in the attack, according to personal emails seen by BuzzFeed News.
“Benghazi is a stupid witch hunt. Basic fault falls on a courageous ambassador who thoughts Libyans now love me and I am ok in this very vulnerable place,” Powell wrote in a December 2015 email exchange with former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice about US Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, who died in the 2012 incident.
Hillary Clinton was secretary of state during the attack, which was the subject of a special congressional committee and remains an issue in the current presidential campaign.
“But blame also rests on his leaders and supports back here. Pat Kennedy, Intel community, DS and yes HRC” — the last acronym short for Hillary Clinton, added Powell, who served under former President George W. Bush.
“Completely agree,” Rice responds, adding, “Let me know when you’re in town and we’ll have that glass of wine (or two).”
The website DCLeaks.com — which has reported, but not confirmed, ties to Russian intelligence services — obtained Powell’s emails. It may be the latest example of a Russian entity potentially trying to influence the US presidential election — in July, the FBI said it believed Russia was behind the hack of the Democratic National Committee’s internal emails right before they party’s convention.