Colin Powell, a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and secretary of state during the George W. Bush administration, said on Sunday that President Trump has "drifted away" from following the Constitution.
During an appearance on CNN's State of the Union, Powell joined the chorus of retired military leaders who have spoken out against Trump following last week's use of federal force to clear peaceful protesters from Lafayette Park across from the White House, minutes before Trump walked over to take pictures in front of St. John's Church. Powell said the George Floyd protests are proof the country is at a "turning point," and "the Republican Party, the president thought they were immune, they can say anything they wanted. And even more troubling, the Congress would just sit there and not in any way resist what the president is doing."
Trump, Powell said, "lies all the time," starting from right after his inauguration, when "we got into an argument about the size of the crowd that was there." He gets away with it, though, because "people will not hold him accountable," he said. Powell, who did not vote for Trump in 2016, said in November he will cast his ballot for former Vice President Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee.
Biden and Trump both responded to Powell on Twitter, with Biden saying: "This isn't about politics. This is about the future of our country. Grateful for your support, Secretary Powell." Trump, in turn, called Powell "a real stiff who was very responsible for getting us into the disastrous Middle East Wars" and "highly overrated."