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Colin Powell Called The Cheneys Idiots

"They are idiots and spent force peddling a book that ain’t going nowhere,” he said in an email about the former vice president's book with his daughter.

Posted on September 14, 2016, at 1:52 p.m. ET

Handout / Getty Images

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell slammed his former Bush Administration colleague Dick Cheney in private emails seen by BuzzFeed News, saying about the former vice president’s book written with his daughter, Liz, “They are idiots and spent force peddling a book that ain’t going nowhere.”

The email, to Kenneth Duberstein — the former White House chief of staff to President Ronald Regan — was about the Cheneys' September 2015 book, Exceptional: Why the World Needs a Powerful America.

In another email, Duberstein wrote to Powell, “See acknowledgement in Cheney’s new book. Scary.” Powell replied, “Scary and the usual suspects. Will pass without a trace with most Americans.”

The emails reveal Powell's criticism of Cheney's book, which contains some of the former vice president's views on America's global influence — Powell and Cheney and the Bush administration's decisions remain points of debate in the current presidential election. It also reveals Powell criticism of a book co-authored by Liz Cheney, who is the Republican nominee for Wyoming's seat in the House of Representatives.

The website — 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.

When asked about the emails, Powell told BuzzFeed News “Ok. Bye bye,” and hung up.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.