Colin Powell Heckled During Interview on 'CBS This Morning'

Colin Powell on significance of new African American museum -Sceen Shot- H 2016
Courtesy of CBS This Morning

Powell appeared on the CBS morning show to talk about the new African-American history museum on the Mall in Washington.

An awkward moment transpired Monday during a live broadcast of CBS This Morning, as former Secretary of State and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Colin Powell got heckled by a protestor while sitting outside the new National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington.

"You know better, Colin Powell! You know better, as a black man in America!" the heckler can be heard shouting. "You dropped bombs on Iraq!"

Powell played the moment off with a smirk, saying to CBS anchors Charlie Rose, Norah O'Donnell and Gayle King, "Is he one of yours?"

Displaying a martial degree of concentration, Powell was able to give a 30-second sound bite about President Harry Truman's executive order to desegregate the armed forces as the protestor hollered unintelligibly as he spoke (around 7:30 in below video). 

Powell's appearance on the show was in honor of the new African-American history and culture museum as part of the Smithsonian Institution, which officially opens its doors on Sept. 24.

Founding donors of the museum include the Oprah Winfrey Charitable Foundation, which ponied up at least $20 million, Michael Jordan, as well as Colin and wife Alma Powell themselves. They gave between $1 million and $2 million to the cause.

"This means a lot to America," Powell stressed, "because this isn't just African-American history. This is American history. It's filling a gap that has existed in American history for so many years."

Powell was asked if "accusations of racism" in the current presidential campaign had led him to endorse the candidacy of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. Powell sidestepped the question, saying that he wants to see a formal debate between the candidates before making up his mind.

Notably, the retired four-star general was not asked about the recently released exchange he had with Clinton about maintaining a private email server while holding the office of secretary of state. Critics have wagged fingers at Powell as the inspiration for Clinton's use of the private server, which she has admitted was a "mistake."

Powell advised Clinton to "be very careful" and that there is "a real danger" involved in using a personal email device that wasn't subject to government oversight.

"What I did do was have a personal computer that was hooked up to a private phone line (sounds ancient.)," Powell wrote. "So I could communicate with a wide range of friends directly without it going through the State Department servers. I even used it to do business with some foreign leaders and some of the senior folks in the Department on their personal email accounts."