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Powell 'cannot in any way support' Trump, will vote for Biden

Retired Gen. Colin PowellColin Luther PowellHow each of us can help to cure our nation's ills Bush endorsing Biden? Don't hold your breath Red meat for the right wingers will be the main course at RNC MORE, the secretary of State under former President George W. Bush, said Sunday he will be voting for presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump and advisers considering firing FBI director after election: WaPo Obama to campaign for Biden in Florida Supreme Court reinstates ban on curbside voting in Alabama MORE.

“I certainly cannot in any way support President TrumpDonald John TrumpJudge rules to not release Russia probe documents over Trump tweets Trump and advisers considering firing FBI director after election: WaPo Obama to campaign for Biden in Florida MORE this year,” Powell said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

Powell said he is “very close to Joe Biden,” noting that he has worked with the former vice president for four decades.

“He is now the candidate, and I’ll be voting for him,” Powell added.

Powell said Trump “has not been an effective president” and “lies all the time,” starting with his first day in office about the size of the crowd at his inauguration. 

“I didn't vote for him [in 2016]. The situation ... has gotten worse,” he said. “Every American citizen has to sit down and think through — don't listen to everybody out there. Don't read every newspaper. Use your common sense. Say, ‘Is this good for my country?’”

“Make America not just great but strong for all Americans, not just a couple,” Powell added.

Trump called Powell a "real stiff" in a tweet after the former general announced his endorsement of Biden.

"Colin Powell, a real stiff who was very responsible for getting us into the disastrous Middle East Wars, just announced he will be voting for another stiff, Sleepy Joe Biden. Didn’t Powell say that Iraq had 'weapons of mass destruction?' They didn’t, but off we went to WAR!" Trump said.

Powell also served as the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under former Presidents George H.W. Bush and Clinton. 

Powell's statements come on the heels of a number of condemnations from high-profile current and former military officers on Trump's handling of nationwide protests over police brutality and racial inequality. Former Trump Defense Secretary James MattisJames Norman MattisNearly 300 more former national security officials sign Biden endorsement letter John Kelly called Trump 'the most flawed person' he's ever met: report Biden courts veterans amid fallout from Trump military controversies MORE issued a blistering statement Wednesday, calling Trump the first president in his lifetime who is trying to divide Americans.

Powell said he agreed with the criticism. 

“We have a Constitution, and we have to follow that Constitution. And the president has drifted away from it,” Powell said. 

Powell said he didn’t write a statement, as Mattis did, in response to Trump’s actions because he made his point four years ago when Trump was a presidential candidate. 

“When I heard some of the things he was saying, it made it clear that I could not possibly vote for this individual,” Powell said. 

He said he was “deeply troubled by the way” Trump was “going around insulting everybody,” noting Trump’s attacks on a gold star mother and the late Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainSenate is leaning to the Democrats, big time, with a wave Budowsky: Trump's COVID-19 death toll dominates election Democrats seem unlikely to move against Feinstein MORE (R-Ariz.). 

“I agree with all my former colleagues,” he said on the criticism over Trump’s response to the protests. 

He said that many of the officials now making their voices heard were junior officers when he left the military 25 years ago and that he was “proud of them.” 

A handful of Republican lawmakers have also said they agree with Mattis, including Sen. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyMitt Romney did not vote for Trump in 2020 election Biden: Johnson should be 'ashamed' for suggesting family profited from their name The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by the Walton Family Foundation — Pope Francis expresses support for same-sex unions MORE (R-Utah) and Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiDemocrats to boycott committee vote on Amy Coney Barrett's Supreme Court nomination Senate to vote Monday to confirm Amy Coney Barrett to Supreme Court Senate GOP eyes Oct. 26 for confirming Barrett to Supreme Court MORE (R-Alaska), who said she was "struggling" with whether to vote for Trump.

--This report was updated at 10:46 a.m.