The former secretary of state revealed today at the Long Island Association Fall Luncheon that he intends to vote for Hillary Clinton in November, according to Powell’s representative.
The retired four-star general joins a small number of prominent Republican figures who have crossed party lines to support Clinton or refuse to support Donald Trump. This is the third time in in three election cycles that Powell has supported a Democratic candidate over his party’s nominee. In 2008 and 2012, Powell, who served under George W. Bush, endorsed Barack Obama for president.
Powell pointed to Clinton’s experience and stamina as reasons he’s voting for her, according to a local reporter who was at the luncheon. He said Trump isn’t qualified to be president and Trump “insults us every day.”
In emails from his private account that were hacked and then released in September, Powell blasted Trump as a “national disgrace” who engaged in a “racist” movement against Obama.
A representative for Powell told ABC News that the emails, which were first seen and reported on by BuzzFeed, were “accurate.”
After those emails were made public, Trump said in an interview with Howard Kurtz that he was not “a fan” of Powell’s and blamed him for leading America “down a very horrible path” in the lead-up to the Iraq War.
In those emails, however, Powell also criticized Clinton.
In an message from July 2014, he wrote, “I would rather not have to vote for her, although she is a friend I respect.”
He described Clinton as “a 70-year person with a long track record, unbridled ambition, greedy, not transformational.” In another email he wrote, “Everything HRC touches she kind of screws up with hubris.”
Powell has had public tension with the her campaign staffers and surrogates, which in defending her use of a private email account while she was secretary of state, argue that he kept a personal account as well when he held the position.
He knocked her campaign, telling People magazine in August that her people “have been trying to pin it on me.”