Retired Gen. Colin PowellColin PowellThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Uber - Manchin, Sanders in budget feud; Biden still upbeat Overnight Defense & National Security — Presented by Raytheon Technologies — House lawmakers eye military pay raise next year Memorial service for Colin Powell set for Nov. 5 at Washington National Cathedral MORE, the secretary of State under former President George W. Bush, said Sunday he will be voting for presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden to meet House Dems before Europe trip: report 21 House Democrats call for removing IRS bank reporting proposal from spending bill Overnight Health Care — Presented by Altria — Vulnerable House Dems push drug pricing plan MORE.
“I certainly cannot in any way support President TrumpDonald TrumpOvernight Defense & National Security — Presented by Boeing — Milley warns of 'Sputnik moment' for China WSJ publishes letter from Trump continuing to allege voter fraud in PA Oath Keeper who was at Capitol on Jan. 6 runs for New Jersey State Assembly 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.
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!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 7, 2020
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 MattisThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Senate nears surprise deal on short-term debt ceiling hike Overnight Defense & National Security — Pentagon chiefs to Congress: Don't default Pentagon chiefs say debt default could risk national security 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 McCainMcCain blasts Graham for refuting funeral remark about Kushner, Ivanka Trump Flake, Cindy McCain among latest Biden ambassadors confirmed after delay Meghan McCain to Trump: 'Thanks for the publicity' 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 RomneyIn Montana, a knock-down redistricting fight over a single line Trump-backed bills on election audits, illegal voting penalties expected to die in Texas legislature The Memo: Conservatives change their tune on big government MORE (R-Utah) and Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiAnti-Trump Republicans target McCarthy, Scalise, other high-profile conservatives Trump-endorsed candidate leading GOP field to replace Crist in Florida: poll House passes bill to expand workplace protections for nursing mothers MORE (R-Alaska), who said she was "struggling" with whether to vote for Trump.
--This report was updated at 10:46 a.m.