Former Republican Secretary of State Colin Powell says he’s voting for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
Powell, who served under President George W. Bush, revealed his decision to support Clinton at a luncheon with Long Island business and political leaders on Tuesday, 14 days before Election Day, Newsday reports.
Powell called Clinton a longtime friend and praised her as “smart,” “capable” and “a good secretary of state.”
“She is balanced, she has temperament and no matter what anyone says she has stamina,” Powell added, in a jab at GOP nominee Donald Trump. “I think she is fully qualified to serve as the president of the United States and will serve it with distinction.”
A Clinton aide said she is grateful for Powell’s support, CNN reported.
Powell also slammed Trump for selling Americans “a bill of goods” that he can’t deliver.
“He insults us every day,” Powell said. “He has insulted America in one way almost every day. He has insulted Latino Americans. He has insulted African Americans. He has insulted women. He has insulted his own party. He has insulted our allies around the world one by one. He has insulted veterans.”
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Powell, who supported President Barack Obama in the 2008 and 2012 elections, said last year that he was still a Republican who believed in Republican values but that he was “having difficulty with the party now.”
The former secretary of state has been critical of both Clinton and Trump in the past. Hacked emails released last month showed Powell calling Trump a “national disgrace and an international pariah” and saying of Clinton, “Everything HRC touches she kind of screws up with hubris.” When asked about the emails by Buzzfeed at the time, Powell said, “I have no further comment. I’m not denying it.”
Powell and Clinton clashed recently after she told FBI officials he had advised her on how to use a personal email account while she was secretary of state. Powell denied this in August, telling PEOPLE at the time, “Her people have been trying to pin it on me.” But hacked emails later released by House Democrats in September showed that Powell did tell Clinton how to “get around” State Department security by using a private email account.