Colin Powell’s leaked emails show he was an equal opportunity basher of both presidential nominees, but the Big Three nightly newscasts put the focus on the four-star general’s derisive remarks about Donald Trump.
“Calling Donald Trump in email, quote, ‘a national disgrace,’ and Trump's birther movement, quote, ‘racist,’” ABC World News Tonight anchor David Muir said in introducing Wednesday’s explosive story about years’ worth of leaked emails that showed a candid and sometimes crude side of Powell.
When Muir threw it to reporter Cecilia Vega, she began her report with all the anti-Trump vitriol that could be mustered from the former Secretary of State and Joint Chiefs chairman’s hacked missives.
“He is one of the most famous faces in the GOP, serving under three Republican presidents, but in his hacked emails, Colin Powell calls his own party's nominee ‘a national disgrace’ and an ‘international pariah,’” Vega said, adding that Powell called the congressional investigation into Benghazi “a stupid witch hunt.”
Muir, as well as his counterparts at CBS and NBC, ignored a particularly jarring email from Powell in which he described in coarse terms what former President Bill Clinton was doing with “bimbos at home,” noted Media Research Center’s NewsBusters.
Vega did read from the email where Powell attacked Bill Clinton, but omitted the critical details of his sexual exploits. “But in 2014, he wrote, ‘I would rather not have to vote for her, although she is a friend I respect,’” Vega read. “He says Clinton has ‘unbridled ambition’ and calls her ‘greedy, not transformational.’”
The full quote from Powell’s emails stated: “I would rather not have to vote for her, although she is a friend I respect. A 70-year person with a long track record, unbridled ambition, greedy, not transformational, with a husband still d---ing bimbos at home (according to the NYP).”
CBS Evening News introduced the report with Scott Pelley saying Powell “took a healthy swing at both candidates,” but the segment focused on Powell’s displeasure with the Clinton campaign for fingering him as the reason she used a private email server. The newscast did report a Powell email in which he wrote: "Everything Clinton touches she kind of screws up with hubris."”
NBC reporter Pete Williams gave little time to Powell’s thoughts on the candidates, but did report on how Powell believed the birther issue once championed by Trump was racist. The only critical thing Williams reported Powell said in regards to Clinton was that her speaking fees were “the gift that keeps taking.”