Hillary Clinton Has 'a Lot of Sympathy' for Colin Powell Over Email Hack

Clinton tied Powell's email hack to general Russian interference with election.

September 15, 2016, 10:29 AM

WHITE PLAINS, New York -- Hillary Clinton today sidestepped a question about an email that former Secretary of State Colin Powell sent criticizing the Democratic presidential nominee, saying only that she has “a lot of sympathy for anyone whose emails become public.”

“I have a great deal of respect for Colin Powell, and I have a lot of sympathy for anyone whose emails become public. I’m not going to start discussing someone else’s private emails. I’ve already spent a lot of time talking about my own, as you know,” Clinton said during an interview on the Tom Joyner radio show, referring to the public disclosure of emails from her tenure at the State Department.

Clinton’s remark came in response to a specific question about an email Powell wrote to his wealthy business partner, Jeffrey Leeds. “Everything HRC touches, she kind of screws up with hubris,” he wrote, referencing Clinton by her initials.

Many of Powell’s private emails became public Wednesday via a hack by website DCLeaks.com, which some experts believe is linked to Russian-backed cyberespionage. The messages, which a spokesman for Powell told ABC News are “accurate,” reveal he is not really a fan of either major party’s presidential nominee.

(In emails obtained by Buzzfeed, Powell describes Donald Trump as a “national disgrace” and an “international pariah.”)

Although Clinton would not comment directly on what Powell wrote about her, she did express overall concern over his hacked emails, suggesting, again, that Russia may be lending a hand to her opponent.

“What I think is really important about the emails is the chilling fact that the Russians are continuing to attempt to interfere in our election,” Clinton, who phoned the show from her home in Chappaqua, N.Y., exclaimed. “And I have to say, I’m increasingly concerned by how we’ve seen Donald Trump’s alarming closeness with the Kremlin become more and more clear over the course of this campaign. It’s deeply concerning.”

“And there’s a lot that Trump should answer for because these attempts by Russia to interfere in the election are ones that go right hand-in-hand with his closeness to the Kremlin, his flattery of Putin,” she added.

During a recent forum on national security, Trump predicted that, as president, he would have a "very, very good relationship with Putin," whom he described as a "leader."

"The man has very strong control over a country," he explained, as he contrasted Putin and Obama. "Now, it's a very different system and I don't happen to like the system, but certainly in that system, he's been a leader. Far more than our president has been a leader. We have a divided country."

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