Former Secretary of State Colin Powell told CNN anchor Jake Tapper that he can’t support President Donald Trump’s reelection bid in November.
Appearing on Sunday morning’s “State of the Union,” Powell expressed solidarity with recent statements from former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and others critical of Trump’s performance.
“We have a Constitution,” he said. “We have to follow that Constitution. And the president’s drifted away from it. I’m so proud of what these generals and admirals have done and others have done.”
After bringing up several reasons why he did not support Trump in 2016, including the “birther movement” and Trump “insulting John McCain,” Powell referred to ongoing protests and demonstrations sparked by the death of George Floyd as evidence that “the country is getting wise to this” and is “not going to put up with it anymore.”
“We are in a turning point,” Powell said. “The Republican Party, the president thought they were immune, they can go say anything they wanted. And even more troubling, that Congress would just sit there and not in any way resist what the president is doing. And the one word I have to use with respect to what he’s been doing for the last several years is the word I would never have used before, I never would have used with any of the four presidents I worked for, he lies. He lies about things, and he gets away with it because people will not hold him accountable.”
“We’re not the country of just the president,” he continued. “We have a Congress. We have a Supreme Court, but most of all we have the people of the United States, the ones who vote. The ones who vote him in and the ones who vote him out. I couldn’t vote for him in ’16. I certainly cannot in any way support President Trump this year.” (RELATED: ‘A Great Day’: Chris Wallace Explains How Newest Jobs Report Could Make Trump’s Reelection Case ‘A Lot Easier’)
Powell told Tapper that he is “very close” to presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden “in a social matter and on a political matter.”
“He is now the candidate and I will be voting for him,” he said.
Former President George W. Bush has also declined to support the president this year.
After serving as Secretary of State during Bush’s first term, Powell supported former President Barack Obama’s successful 2008 and 2012 runs against GOP nominees John McCain and Mitt Romney.