Rehashing Bush-administration divides, the former secretary of state took the controversial VP to task over accusations in his new memoir
A visibly angry Colin Powell used an appearance on CBS's "Face the Nation" on Sunday to blast former Vice President Dick Cheney for using "cheap shots" and "barbs" to drive up sales of his new memoir, which accuses Powell of trying to undermine President Bush during the run-up to the Iraq War and tacitly allowing his deputy to leak the name of a covert CIA agent.
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Powell, who had a rocky tenure as Bush's first secretary of State, said that the allegations in Cheney's book were better suited to "supermarket tabloids" than the memoir of a former vice president of the United States. He said Cheney was using misleading anecdotes and unfounded personal attacks to "pump up" sales of the memoir, In My Time, which will be officially released on Tuesday. Multiple media outlets have published excerpts from the book in recent days.
"They are cheap shots," Powell told CBS' Bob Schieffer. "It's not necessary to take these kinds of barbs."
The new war of words between Cheney and Powell underscores the degree to which members of the Bush administration continue to publicly relitigate decisions taken years earlier. The two men have had a rocky relationship for decades. During the first Gulf War, then-Defense Secretary Cheney told colleagues that he felt then-Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Powell was intentionally upstaging him at press conferences and other public events. Those tensions carried over into their shared time in the Bush administration, where Powell and Cheney were on opposite sides of multiple debates, most notably over the Iraq War.