Retired four-star general and former Republican secretary of state Colin Powell joined other former top military officials who have recently spoken out against President Trump’s handling of the police brutality protests, saying that Trump has “drifted away” from the Constitution.
Powell also said that he will vote for the Democratic candidate for president come November. “I cannot in any way support President Trump this year… I will be voting for Joe Biden,” he said.
Powell went on to reminded CNN’s Jake Tapper that he did not support Trump in 2016 and cited the president’s racism and disrespect of immigrants as reasons why.
“I made my point with respect to Trump’s performance some four years ago, when he was running for office. And when I heard some of the things he was saying, it made it clear that I could not possibly vote for this individual,” the former secretary of state said.
Powell explained that Trump’s racist and completely false birther campaign against then-president Obama topped his list of reasons not to support the 2016 Republican candidate: “The first thing that troubled me is the whole birthers movement. And birthers movement had to do with the fact that the president of the United States, President Obama, was a black man. That was part of it.”
Powell continued, “And then I was deeply troubled by the way in which he was going around insulting everybody, insulting Gold Star mothers, insulting John McCain, insulting immigrants — and I’m the son of immigrants — insulting anybody who dared to speak against him. And that is dangerous for our democracy. It is dangerous for our country.”
Powell then suggested the immense size of the current protests might be a signal that the American people may be more aware of Trump’s incompetence and are fed up with him.
“I think what we’re seeing now, the most massive protest movement I have ever seen in my life, I think this suggests that the country is getting wise to this, and we’re not going to put up with it anymore,” Powel said.
Trump responded to the interview via Twitter by attacking Powell and Biden without addressing any of the points the former secretary made.
Powell spoke further about the demonstrations and put a twist on Trump’s favorite “Make America Great Again” slogan, by adding an inclusive note.
“What we have to do now is reach out to the whole people, watch these demonstrations, watch these protests, and rather than curse them, embrace them to see what it is we have to do to get out of the situation that we find ourselves in now,” Powell said. “We’re America, we’re Americans, we can do this. We have the ability to do it, and we ought to do it. Make America not just great, but strong and great for all Americans, not just a couple.”