Colin Powell: 'I can no longer call myself a fellow Republican'

Former Secretary of State Colin PowellColin PowellHow American progressives normalize anti-Semitism Juan Williams: The GOP is an anti-America party Defense & National Security — Biden marks Veterans Day MORE said that he no longer considers himself a Republican following the riot that broke out at the Capitol last week.

Asked by CNN’s Fareed Zakaria whether he believes “fellow Republicans” who have not criticized President TrumpDonald TrumpBiden says Roe v. Wade under attack like 'never before' On student loans, Biden doesn't have an answer yet Grill company apologizes after sending meatloaf recipe on same day of rock star's death MORE “encouraged, at least, this wildness to grow and grow,” Powell responded that “they did, and that’s why I can no longer call myself a Republican.”

“I’m not a fellow of anything right now. I’m just a citizen who has voted Republican, voted Democrat throughout my entire career, and right now I’m just watching my country and not concerned with parties,” Powell said. 


“I do not know how he was able to attract all of these people. They should have known better, but they were so taken by their political standing and how none of them wanted to put themselves at political risk. They would not stand up and tell the truth or stand up and criticize him, or criticize others,” he continued.


Powell, who also served as the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under former President George H.W. Bush and as national security adviser under former President Reagan, told CNN that “we need people who will speak the truth, who remember that they are here for our fellow citizens.” 

“They are here for our country. They are not here simply to be reelected again. Come on, guys. You can make it in private life if you don’t get reelected, but right now we need you to be real Americans who we can trust, who will tell the truth, who will argue on the basis of facts and not just argue on the basis of what their primary looks like,” he said.

Pro-Trump rioters breached the Capitol last week amid protests in Washington, D.C., calling on officials to block the certification of the Electoral College vote in the presidential election between Trump and president-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenSunday shows preview: US reaffirms support for Ukraine amid threat of Russian invasion The Fed has a clear mandate to mitigate climate risks Biden says Roe v. Wade under attack like 'never before' MORE. The demonstrators ransacked offices, smashed windows, defaced artifacts and more.

Powell last week said he wished that Trump would resign from office as calls for his removal surge in the nation’s capital.

“I wish he would just do what [former President] Nixon did, and that’s step down,” Powell told NBC’s "Today" show. “Somebody ought to go up there and tell him, ‘It’s over. The plane’s waiting for you. You’re out.’” 

“That way, he would not only step down; he would in addition sort of cut the guts out from underneath this group of people he has working for him,” he continued.