Appearing on CNN on Sunday, former Republican Secretary of State Colin Powell joined the growing list of rebukes made in recent days by former top military leaders who have condemned Trump’s strongman approach to the protests sparked by the death of Floyd, a black man who was murdered in late May by a white police officer in Minneapolis.
“We have a Constitution. And we have to follow that Constitution. And the President has drifted away from it,” Powell told CNN host Jake Tapper on “State Of The Union.”
Powell, the first African American secretary of state and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said he’s “proud” of what a number of former generals, admirals and diplomats have said about Trump’s response last week to the widespread protests, adding that he hadn’t released a public statement denouncing Trump’s response because he felt he had demonstrated his displeasure with Trump in 2016 when he voted against him.
“I think what we’re seeing now, this massive protest movement I have (never) seen in my life, I think it suggests the country is getting wise to this and we’re not going to put up with it anymore,” the retired general said.
He added: “There’s no way I can support Trump, I’ll be voting for Joe Biden.”
BREAKING: Retired Gen. Colin Powell is backing @JoeBiden for president. Powell joins a growing number of Republicans and military leaders who are denouncing Trump’s divisive and failed leadership.#Biden2020 pic.twitter.com/UriiCSM2Jp
— Jon Cooper 🇺🇸 (@joncoopertweets) June 7, 2020
Last week, Trump’s former Defense Secretary, James Mattis, said in a blistering statement that Trump “does not even pretend to try” to unite the country and is instead engaged in a “deliberate effort” to divide the country, while lacking “mature leadership.”
Former White House chief of staff John Kelly similarly blasted the President’s response to the protests, saying Friday that he agreed with Mattis’ assessment and that he thinks there’s an “awful big concern that the partisanship has gotten out of hand, the tribal thing has gotten out of hand.”