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

Retired Gen. Colin PowellColin Luther PowellOvernight Defense: Biden makes his Afghanistan decision Colin Powell on Afghanistan: 'We've done all we can do' Is nonpartisan effectiveness still possible? 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 prepares to confront Putin Ukrainian president thanks G-7 nations for statement of support Biden aims to bolster troubled Turkey ties in first Erdoğan meeting MORE.

“I certainly cannot in any way support President TrumpDonald TrumpBiden prepares to confront Putin Biden aims to bolster troubled Turkey ties in first Erdoğan meeting Senate investigation of insurrection falls short 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 MattisBiden's is not a leaky ship of state — not yet Rejoining the Iran nuclear deal would save lives of US troops, diplomats The soft but unmatched power of US foreign exchange programs 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 McCainMeghan McCain: Harris 'sounded like a moron' discussing immigration Arizona AG Mark Brnovich launches Senate challenge to Mark Kelly Arizona Democrats launch voter outreach effort ahead of key Senate race 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 RomneyPelosi: 'No intention' of abandoning Democrats' infrastructure goals What the Democrats should be doing to reach true bipartisanship Eugene Goodman to throw out first pitch at Nationals game MORE (R-Utah) and Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiPelosi: 'No intention' of abandoning Democrats' infrastructure goals What the Democrats should be doing to reach true bipartisanship Democrats mull overhaul of sweeping election bill MORE (R-Alaska), who said she was "struggling" with whether to vote for Trump.

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