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

Former Secretary of State Colin PowellColin Luther PowellWhite supremacists endanger the military on the battlefield The challenge of Biden's first days: staying focused and on message Colin Powell: 'I can no longer call myself a fellow Republican' 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 TrumpSchumer: Impeachment trial will be quick, doesn't need a lot of witnesses Nurse to be tapped by Biden as acting surgeon general: report Schumer calls for Biden to declare climate emergency 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. 

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“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.

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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 BidenBudowsky: A Biden-McConnell state of emergency summit DC might win US House vote if it tries Inaugural poet Amanda Gorman inks deal with IMG Models 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.