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

Former Secretary of State Colin PowellColin Luther PowellReinvesting in American leadership George W. Bush congratulates Biden, Harris Don't wait to start the transition 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 TrumpUSAID administrator tests positive for COVID-19 Kamala Harris, Stacey Abrams among nominees for Time magazine's 2020 Person of the Year DOJ appeals ruling preventing it from replacing Trump in E. Jean Carroll defamation lawsuit 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.