In a statement released by his Political Action Committee, the ex-president said it was “wonderful” to see Mr. Powell “treated to death so beautifully by the fake media”, and expressed hope that ‘he would one day be hailed by the press in his death.
“He made a lot of mistakes, but anyway, may he rest in peace!” Wrote the former president.
Mr Powell’s death was announced by his family early Monday. The 84-year-old former soldier and diplomat has died of complications from Covid-19. Despite having been fully vaccinated against the new coronavirus, Mr Powell’s immune system was reportedly weakened by a years-long struggle with blood cancer and Parkinson’s disease.
The New York native first rose to prominence as the national security adviser to then President Ronald Reagan. Mr. Reagan’s successor, George HW Bush, elevated him to Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff before retiring from the United States military in 1993.
Mr. Powell was the first black American to serve as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, and when he returned to public service as Secretary of State to President George W Bush in 2001, he became the first black to also occupy this high office.
The former president’s reference to the “big mistakes in Iraq” was a reference to Mr. Powell’s controversial 2003 presentation to the UN Security Council in which he claimed Iraq possessed weapons of destruction massive.
The former four-star general was not a fan of Mr. Trump, whom he publicly called a liar and whose rhetoric he called “dangerous to our democracy.” It was Mr. Trump’s run for president – and then his rise to the presidency – that prompted Mr. Powell to quit the Republican Party after more than two decades.
In a final interview with Bob Woodward of Le Washington Post Earlier this year, Mr. Powell said the Jan. 6 Capitol insurgency by supporters of Mr. Trump was “horrible.”
“He was going there to overthrow the government,” he said of the attack on the US legislature.
“I wish he would do what Nixon did and quit. Someone should approach him and it’s over. The plane is waiting for you. You got out, ”he said at the time.
“What he’s responsible for is one of the most disgusting things I’ve ever seen,” he added.