The Daniel K. Inouye Distinguished Lecture Series debuted Wednesday evening at the Library of Congress in Washington with former secretaries of state Madeleine Albright and Colin Powell joining in a discussion of “Finding Shared Values for U.S. Foreign Policy.”

Well attended in D.C., moderated by ABC News Chief Washington Correspondent Ann Compton and streamed to University of Hawaii students back home where the Daniel K. Inouye Center is coming together, the affair was nevertheless the sort of event that appeals to political science junkies, policy wonks and those interested in foreign affairs. Stimulating, but perhaps low on fireworks.


Former U.S. secretaries of state Madeleine Albright and Colin Powell take part in the debut of the Daniel K. Inouye Distinguished Lecture Series.

Library of Congress via YouTube

Powell, however, brought the crowd to life with the culminating point in his response to a group of student questions that a facilitator summed up as “What should young people pay careful attention to in order to solve the challenges of tomorrow, and what are those challenges?”

Once a widely touted potential presidential candidate himself, the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff used the question to take aim at a current presidential candidate — Donald Trump, whose caustic comments on Mexican immigrants over the past week have caused a major firestorm in the GOP presidential field. After first speaking to challenges in education and human rights, Powell zeroed in.

“Just to close this small sermonette,” said Powell, warmly grabbing Albright’s arm and pointing to her, “immigrant.”

“Child of immigrants,” he continued, pointing to himself.

“How could we continue thinking that it is proper not to have immigration reform? God help us,” said Powell, as he was interrupted by cheers and applause. “I would like to go to every Trump hotel and ask — now wait a minute, hang on — and ask all the employees not to show up tomorrow. There’d be nobody there. They’re immigrants.”

Compton quickly moved the conversation on to the next question, but Powell quietly smiled, clearly having enjoyed delivering the jab.

Watch the entire lecture here. The exchange on immigration begins at the 1:13:35 mark.



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