The contents of the emails were first reported by Buzzfeed News. It said the messages had been obtained by the website DCLeaks.com, which a federal law official told NBC News is believed to have ties to Russian intelligence services.
RELATED: Colin Powell through his career
Colin Powell through his career
Colin Powell through his career
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Colin Powell (C) and members of the 132nd MP Company pose for photographs in Saudi Arabia December 22, 1990. REUTERS/Jonathan Bainbridge (SAUDI ARABIA - Tags: POLITICS) BEST QUALITY AVAILABLE
President George H.W. Bush meets with his military advisors at the Pentagon to duscuss the Gulf crisis August 15, 1990. From left are: General Norman Schwarzkopf, chief of Middle East forces, Defense Secretary Dick Cheney, Bush and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Colin Powell. REUTERS/Gary Cameron (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS) BEST QUALITY AVAILABLE
Former U.S. Defense Secretary Richard Cheney and former Chairman of the
Armed Forces Joint Chiefs of Staff, Colin Powell (L), speak with reporters
about reductions in short range nuclear weapons during a press conference at
the Pentagon in this September 28, 1991 file photo. PP03030031
Arriving at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library for award ceremonies November 9 are (L-R) former President Ronald Reagan , Alma Powell , Nancy Reagan and General Colin L. Powell , former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Republican presidential candidate Texas Governor George W. Bush (R) and retired General Colin Powell talk during a campaign stop in Pittsburgh, October 26, 2000. Bush hammered rival Democratic presidential candidate Vice President Al Gore on the responsibility of leadership.
Texas Governor and Republican presidential candidate George W. Bush listens to former chairman of the joint chiefs retired Gen. Colin Powell at VFW Post 3323 in Westland, Michigan, September 7, 2000. Powell praised Bush's plan to reinvigorate the U.S. military.
Richard Cheney, U.S. Defense Secretary during the Gulf War, and then Chairman of the Armed Forces Joint Chiefs of Staff, Colin Powell (R), address U.S. troops deployed in Saudi Arabia as part of operation Desert Shield during the Gulf crisis, in a December 21, 1990 file photo. According to reports, Republican presidential candidate George W. Bush decided on July 24, 2000 to offer the vice presidential spot on the Republican White House ticket to Cheney. Senior Republican sources in Washington said Bush would call Cheney soon and appear with him July 25. Cheney had previously told associates that if asked, he would accept the nomination. Bush had also been courting Powell for the Vice President's job, but Powell said he was not interested.
Musician Kenny G (center/right) stands with students of Macfarland Middle School (front), Charles Goldstock of Arista Records (left/rear), and General Colin Powell (ret.) (center), as he launches his new Foundation called Miracles by donating instruments to the school in Washington July 1. The mission of The Kenny G Miracles Foundation is to bring the miracle of music to America's youth by providing resources for school programs.
U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell (R) points as he shakes hands with Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov in Cairo February 24, 2001. Both men both men are expected to discuss arms control, Iraq and Middle East peace. Powell said his meeting with Ivanov would be a "get
acquainted session" and the start of the engagement between the new Bush administration and the Putin government in Moscow.
U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell (R) laughs along with other U.S.
officials during ceremonies marking the 10th anniversary of Operation
Desert Storm in Kuwait City February 25, 2001. From left, are: former
National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft, retired General Norman
Schwarzkopf, U.S. Ambassador to Kuwait James Larocco and Powell, a
retired general and former Joint Chiefs chairman during the Gulf war.
REUTERS/Royal Navy/Dave Coombs/Handout
U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell presents an American proposal to help bring the Israeli-Palestinian conflict under control May 21, 2001. Powell said on Monday he had instructed his ambassador to Jordan, William Burns, to help Israelis and Palestinians build a "timeline" for peace and urged both sides to call an immediate and unconditional cease-fire.
U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell testifies before the House
Appropriations subcommittee on the Departments of Commerce, Justice,
State and the Judiciary, on Capitol Hill in Washington March 26, 2003.
Powell testified for the State Department's 2004 budget as well as the
war in Iraq. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell speaks on Iraq before members of
the House International Affairs Committee on Capitol Hill, September
19, 2002. President Bush warned today that the U.N. Security Council
must deal with Iraq or the United States and its allies would act
alone. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan (2ndL) reads a final statement beside (L-R) Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov, Spain's Foreign Minister Josep Pique, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell and EU Foreign Policy chief Javier Solana during their joint news conference at Moncloa Palace April 10, 2002. Leaders met to discuss the Middle East crisis.
WASHINGTON - OCTOBER 19: Former Secretary of State Gen. Colin Powell (ret.) speaks during a taping of 'Meet the Press' at NBC October 19, 2008 in Washington, DC. Secretary Powell spoke about his endorsement of Democratic presidential nominee U.S. Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL). (Photo by Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images for Meet The Press)
U.S. President Barack Obama meets with former Secretary of State Colin Powell in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, December 1, 2010. REUTERS/Jim Young (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS)
U.S. President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden meet with former Secretary of State Colin Powell in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, December 1, 2010. REUTERS/Jim Young (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS)
Former Secretary of State Colin Powell stands over U.S. President Barack Obama during the signing of America's Promise Summit Declaration at the White House in Washington September 22, 2014. Powell served as the founding chairman of America's Promise Alliance which mobilizes non-profit groups, businesses, educators and communities to end high school dropout, and to prepare students for college and the workforce.
REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS EDUCATION)
Former US Secretary of State Colin Powell speaks alongside US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during the unveiling of Powell's official State Department portrait in the Benjamin Franklin Room at the State Department in Washington, DC, on December 7, 2009. Powell served as Secretary of State from 2001-2005 under former US President George W. Bush. AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON - DECEMBER 07: Former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell walks by his official State Department portrait after an unveiling ceremony with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the Benjamin Franklin Room at the State Department December 7, 2009 in Washington, DC. Powell served as Secretary of State from 2001-2005 under former U.S. President George W. Bush. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Former US Secretaries of State Colin Powell (L) and Hillary Clinton speak during a ceremony to break ground on the US Diplomacy Center at the US State Department in Washington, DC, September 3, 2014. AFP PHOTO / Jim WATSON / AFP / JIM WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 03: Former Secretaries of State (L-R) Madeleine Albright, Colin Powell and Hillary Clinton share a laugh during the ceremonial groundbreaking for the future U.S. Diplomacy Center with former Secretary of State Colin Powell (L) at the State Department's Harry S. Truman Building September 3, 2014 in Washington, DC. When completed, the Diplomacy Center will be a museum and education center that will 'demonstrate the ways in which diplomacy matters now and has mattered throughout American history.' (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
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In one email, the former secretary of state called Trump a "national disgrace" and "international pariah" — adding that the GOP presidential contender was "in the process of destroying himself, no need for Dems to attack him."
The self-described lifelong Republican also slammed Trump for spurring the "racist" so-called "birther" movement — the consistently debunked rumor that President Barack Obama was born in another country.
Powell expressed frustration about his name being linked to Clinton's email issues, writing in another leaked email: "I have told Hilleary's [sic] minions repeatedly that they are making a mistake trying to drag me in, yet they still try."
In a 2014 email about Clinton, the retired four-star general wrote: "I would rather not have to vote for her, although she is a friend I respect."
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Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump arrives for a rally at Duplin County Events Center in Kenansville, North Carolina on September 20, 2016. / AFP / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
ESTERO, FL - SEPTEMBER 19: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at the Germain Arena on September 19, 2016 in Estero, Florida. Trump is locked in a tight race against Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton in Florida as the November 8th election nears. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks during a rally at the JetCenters of Colorado in Colorado Springs, Colorado on September 17, 2016. / AFP / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JIMMY FALLON -- Episode 0534 -- Pictured: (l-r) Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump during an interview with host Jimmy Fallon on September 15, 2016 -- (Photo by: Andrew Lipovsky/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks at the Bethel United Methedoist Church on September 14, 2016 in Flint, Michigan. / AFP / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 13: U.S. Republican vice presidental nominee Gov. Mike Pence addresses a news conference with House GOP leaders following a conference at Republican headquaters on Capitol Hill September 13, 2016 in Washington, DC. When asked about former vice presidential candidate Speaker Paul Ryan's reluctance to endorse presidential candidate Donald Trump, Pence said that the House Republicans and the campaign agree on a plan for America. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Donald Trump, 2016 Republican presidential nominee, greets attendees after speaking at a campaign event in Des Moines, Iowa, U.S., on Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2016. Any path Trump might take to the presidency inevitably leads through the Rust Belt and industrial Midwest the places the Republican nominee describes as 'rusting and rotting' war zones of manufacturing decline. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 12: (L-R) Chairman and CEO of Cantor Fitzgerald, Howard Lutnick, US Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, and Executive Managing Director, North America for BGC, Daniel LaVecchia attend Annual Charity Day hosted by Cantor Fitzgerald, BGC and GFI at BGC Partners, INC on September 12, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Cantor Fitzgerald)
AKRON, OH - AUGUST 22: Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump addresses supporters at the James A. Rhodes Arena on August 22, 2016 in Akron, Ohio. Trump currently trails Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in Ohio, a state which is critical to his election bid. (Photo by Angelo Merendino/Getty Images)
FREDERICKSBURG, VA - AUGUST 20: GOP nominee Donald Trump holds a rally in Fredricksburg, VA on August 20, 2016 in Fredericksburg, Virginia. (Photo by Leigh Vogel/WireImage)
US Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump addresses supporters at the Summit Sports and Ice Complex on August 19, 2016 in Diamondale, Michigan. / AFP / JEFF KOWALSKY (Photo credit should read JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP/Getty Images)
Donald Trump, 2016 Republican presidential nominee, pauses while speaking during a campaign rally at the Erie Insurance Arena in Erie, Pennsylvania, U.S., on Friday, Aug. 12, 2016. Two days after Trump said that President Barack Obama had founded Islamic State, and a day after he insisted that he meant what he said, the Republican presidential nominee reversed himself on Friday and claimed the statement was nothing more than sarcasm. Photographer: Ty Wright/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Donald Trump, 2016 Republican presidential nominee, speaks during a campaign rally at the Erie Insurance Arena in Erie, Pennsylvania, U.S., on Friday, Aug. 12, 2016. Two days after Trump said that President Barack Obama had founded Islamic State, and a day after he insisted that he meant what he said, the Republican presidential nominee reversed himself on Friday and claimed the statement was nothing more than sarcasm. Photographer: Ty Wright/Bloomberg via Getty Images
SUNRISE, FL - AUGUST 10: Republican presidential candidate Donald J.Trump addresses the audience during a campaign event at BB&T Center on August 10th, 2016 in Sunrise, Florida. (Photo by Johnny Louis/WireImage)
WILMINGTON, NC - AUGUST 9: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump shakes hands with supporters during a campaign event at Trask Coliseum on August 9, 2016 in Wilmington, North Carolina. This was TrumpÃs first visit to Southeastern North Carolina since he entered the presidential race. (Photo by Sara D. Davis/Getty Images)
Donald Trump, 2016 Republican presidential nominee, is seen on a monitor speaking during an event to discuss his economic plans at the Detroit Economic Club in Detroit, Michigan, U.S., on Monday, Aug. 8, 2016. Trump is promising the biggest overhaul to the personal income-tax code since Ronald Reagan, as well as a deep cut in the corporate tax rate. He's also pledging to end excessive regulation and lift restrictions on the nation's energy producers. Photographer: Sean Proctor/Bloomberg via Getty Images
PORTLAND, ME - AUGUST 4: Presidential candidate Donald Trump shakes hands with Maine Gov. Paul LePage being introduced at a rally in Merrill Auditorium on Thursday, August 4, 2016. (Photo by Derek Davis/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)
COLORADO SPRINGS, CO - JULY 29: Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump waves to supporters after his speech at the Gallogly Event Center on the campus of the University of Colorado on July 29, 2016 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. (Photo by Joe Mahoney/Getty Images)
SCRANTON, PA - JULY 27: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks to a crowd of supporters on July 27, 2016 in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Trump spoke at the Lackawanna College Student Union Gymnasium. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
DORAL, FL - JULY 27: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump holds a press conference at Trump National Doral on July 27, 2016 in Doral, Florida. Trump spoke about the Democratic Convention and called on Russia to find Hillary Clinton's deleted e-mails. (Photo by Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images)
Donald Trump, the Republican presidential nominee, waves to the crowd after addressing the 117th annual VFW National Convention at the Charlotte Convention Center on Tuesday, July 26, 2016. (David T. Foster III/Charlotte Observer/TNS via Getty Images)
CHARLOTTE, NC - JULY 26: Republican vice presidential candidate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence speaks as Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump looks on at the 117th National Convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States as veterans strive for a photo at the Charlotte Convention Center on July 26, 2016 in Charlotte, North Carolina. One day after Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton faced the same group, Trump promised a revision to health care for veterans. (Photo by Sara D. Davis/Getty Images)