Powell: 'The Republican Party has got to get a grip on itself'

Former Secretary of State Colin PowellColin Luther PowellOvernight Defense: Air Force general officially becomes first African American service chief | Senators introduce bill to block Trump armed drone sale measure | State Department's special envoy for Iran is departing the Trump administration Air Force general officially becomes first African American service chief Trump participates in swearing-in of first African American service chief MORE said the Republican Party needs to "get a grip on itself" as Republicans flock to defend the president while the impeachment inquiry continues.

The retired U.S. Army general told a crowd at The Jefferson Series, an event hosted by The New Albany Community Foundation, that Republican leaders need to be comfortable speaking up when they see something wrong.

"The Republican Party has got to get a grip on itself," Powell said. "Republican leaders and members of the Congress, both Senate and the House, are holding back because they're terrified of what will happen to any one of them if they speak out."  

Powell added that the country's foreign policy is "in shambles right now."

"I see things happening that are hard to understand," he said.

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Powell, who describes himself as a "moderate Republican," referenced the controversy surrounding the President TrumpDonald John TrumpDeWine tests negative for coronavirus a second time Several GOP lawmakers express concern over Trump executive orders Beirut aftermath poses test for US aid to frustrating ally MORE's reported Sharpie extension of the path of Hurricane Dorian to reach Alabama and the administration's efforts to back up the president.

"This is not the way the country is supposed to run," he said. "And Congress is one of the institutions that should be doing something about this." 

"We've got to remember what the Constitution started with: 'we the People,' not 'me the President,'" he added.