Donald Trump waited little more than 24 hours after Colin Powell's death to rip into his record and dismiss praise for the former secretary of state as "fake news".
Trump, who is known for continuing feuds even after a rival is no longer alive, also criticised Powell for making "big mistakes", particularly in relation to the Iraq war.
Powell died on Monday, aged 84, from Covid-19 complications after a long and illustrious career which saw him become National Security Adviser to Ronald Reagan, chairman of the joint Chiefs of Staff under Bill Clinton, and ultimately the first black US secretary of state under George W. Bush.
Following his death tributes poured in from across the political spectrum and around the world.
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But, in a statement on Tuesday, Trump said: "Wonderful to see Colin Powell, who made big mistakes on Iraq and famously, so-called weapons of mass destruction, be treated in death so beautifully by the Fake News Media. Hope that happens to me someday."
The former US president added: "He was a classic RINO [Republican In Name Only], if even that, always being the first to attack other Republicans.
"He made plenty of mistakes, but anyway, may he rest in peace!"
Powell had been a particular target of criticism from Trump while he was alive.
The former president frequently attacked him and other Republican politicians who led the country to war in Iraq.
Powell played a leading role building support among US allies for the invasion in 2003. That included arguing to the United Nations that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction, evidence of which was never found. Powell later called it a "blot" on his record.
In turn, Powell had been highly critical of Trump, especially after the riot at the US Capitol on January 6. He called Trump a national disgrace and lambasted other Republicans who refused to censure the former president.