"I'm very close to Joe Biden on a social matter and on a political matter," Colin Powell said when endorsing the former vice president

By Eric Todisco
June 07, 2020 02:15 PM
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Retired general Colin Powell has announced he will be supporting Joe Biden over Donald Trump in November's 2020 presidential election.

The former secretary of state — who served under three Republican presidents but who has also supported Democrats  — slammed Trump, 73, on Sunday while throwing his support behind Biden, 77, during an interview with CNN's Jake Tapper on State of the Union.

"We have a Constitution. And we have to follow that Constitution. And the President has drifted away from it," Powell, 83, said.

Powell also said that he is "proud" of a number of former generals, admirals and diplomats that have criticized Trump's response to the protests occurring across the country in the wake of George Floyd's death.

"I think what we're seeing now, this massive protest movement I have ever 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," he shared.

Colin Powell
Drew Angerer/Getty

The retired general then shared that he would be voting against Trump in November, just as he did in the 2016 election, despite identifying as a "moderate Republican."

"I'm very close to Joe Biden on a social matter and on a political matter," Powell said. "I worked with him for 35, 40 years, and he is now the candidate and I will be voting for him."

Powell elaborated on his decision to vote for Biden, explaining that Trump has not been an effective leader and "lies all the time."

"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," he 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."

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and President Donald Trump

After the interview, Trump reacted to Powell's remarks on Twitter, criticizing Powell's role in the Iraq War in 2003 while working under President George W. Bush at the time.

"Colin Powell, a real stiff who was very responsible for getting us into the disastrous Middle East Wars, just announced he will be voting for another stiff, Sleepy Joe Biden," Trump wrote. "Didn’t Powell say that Iraq had 'weapons of mass destruction?' They didn’t, but off we went to WAR."

Ahead of the 2016 presidential election — in which Powell voted for Hillary Clinton —  he reportedly called Trump a “national disgrace” and “international pariah” in a series of emails that were hacked and leaked.

Powell also crossed political lines in 2012, when he endorsed Barack Obama for president over Republican challenger Mitt Romney.