(CNN) — About 24 hours after Colin Powell’s death, Donald Trump proved, again, that he is totally incapable of empathy, grace, or even decency.
“It is wonderful to see Colin Powell, who made big mistakes about Iraq and, famously, so-called weapons of mass destruction, being treated so well in death by the ‘fake news’ media,” Trump said in a statement released Tuesday by the morning. “I hope that happens to me one day. He was a classic RINO, if anything, always being the first to attack other Republicans. He made a lot of mistakes, but anyway, may he rest in peace!” (RINO is a pejorative term that means “Republican in name only”).
“But anyway, may he rest in peace!” Yes, Trump actually said that.
The gulf between Trump’s statement and that of other former presidents regarding Powell’s passing is simply huge.
“Laura and I are deeply saddened by the death of Colin Powell,” said George W. Bush. “He was a great public servant, beginning with his time as a soldier in Vietnam.”
“General Powell was an exemplary soldier and exemplary patriot”, Barack Obama said. “He was at the center of some of the most important events of our life.”
“He lived the promise of America, and spent a lifetime working to help our country, especially our youth, live up to his own ideals and highest aspirations at home and around the world.” Bill Clinton said.
What Trump’s statement should remind us is that he is dealing with a man who is particularly obsessed with himself, and without any ability to see beyond himself.
Powell was openly critical of Trump (he voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016 and Joe Biden in 2020) and the dark direction the billionaire businessman was taking the country. That is why Trump saw in Powell’s death an opportunity to get revenge on him … and he seized it.
This is, in a word, vulgar. In three words: totally classless.
It also debunks the claim that Trump regularly repeats that he loves the military more than any other president.
Powell was a highly decorated soldier and served as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the first Gulf War. Although there is no doubt that his argument that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction To justify the second war in Iraq was a stain on his legacy, it is equally clear that he is a man who dedicated most of his adult life to the service of the country.
No one should be surprised by Trump’s recent debasement of what it means to be president. He spent four years in office debasing him. The fact that some people applaud that Trump attacked a dead man is perhaps his most toxic legacy.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism