KEY POINTS

  • Colin Powell: The President has drifted away from the Constitution
  • Says he will vote for Joe Biden
  • Furious Trump swings at Powell via Twitter on Sunday evening and Monday morning

Colin Powell’s resume is, in one word, impressive. The 83-year-old retired four-star general served as the 65th United States Secretary of State (2001-2005) under President George W. Bush, the first African American appointed to that position.

He is the only African American ever to have served on the Joint Chiefs of Staff and is a globally recognized U.S. statesman.

Powell was awarded the Purple Heart and Bronze Star in his first tour of duty during the Vietnam War. In his second tour, an injured Powell rescued his comrades from a burning helicopter, which earned him the Soldier's Medal. His 11 military decorations include the Legion of Merit.

Most people agree he would have made a great Commander in Chief as President of the U.S. but he put his privacy and family above seeking the office. He has, however, remained politically vocal concerning current President Donald Trump.

Powell, a Republican, talked Sunday (June 7) with Jake Tapper on "State of the Union,” a CNN news talk show. He joined other top military officials in criticizing Trump over his response to the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis policeman that has triggered peaceful protests as well as violent looting across the United States.

Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and former Secretary of State Colin Powell Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and former Secretary of State Colin Powell Photo: GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Drew Angerer

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

He commented on the unrest, “I think what we're seeing now, is (the most) massive protest movement I have ever seen in my life, I think it suggests the country is getting wise to this and we're not going to put up with it anymore."

The retired general indicated his choice in the November election and said, "I'm very close to [Democratic nominee] Joe Biden on a social matter and on a political matter. I worked with him for 35, 40 years, and he is now the candidate and I will be voting for him."

Tapper asked Powell why it was so important that Trump not be reelected. Powell replied that Trump has not been an effective president and that he lies "all the time."

President Trump, notorious for his Twitter messages, swung back at Powell on Sunday late evening, tweeting, “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 (WMDs)?” They didn’t, but off we went to WAR!

This was about Powell supporting President Bush in 2003. Powell appeared before the U.N. Security Council in February, 2003, to present evidence that Iraq had concealed an ongoing weapons development program. Powell's reputation convinced many in Congress and the country that Iraq posed an imminent threat.

While Bush, Powell, and even Senator Hillary Clinton believed that Iraq had WMDs (weapons of mass destruction), it was later acknowledged as unlikely that Iraq possessed WMD stockpiles. In 2004, Powell announced his resignation as secretary of state. He was replaced for Bush’s second term by national security adviser Condoleezza Rice.

Another Trump tweet seemed to be a defense of his effectiveness and read, “Somebody please tell highly overrated Colin Powell that I will have gotten almost 300 Federal Judges approved (a record), Two Great Supreme Court Justices, rebuilt our once depleted Military, Choice for Vets, Biggest Ever Tax & Regulation Cuts, Saved Healthcare & 2A, & much more!”

Not content, the president went back to the subjecte again on Monday morning, an indication how much Powell's comments were worrying him.

"Colin Powell was a pathetic interview today on Fake News CNN. In his time, he was weak & gave away everything to everybody - so bad for the USA. Also got the “weapons of mass destruction” totally wrong, and you know what that mistake cost us? Sad! Only negative questions asked."

Hardcore Trump supporters will look at Powell’s stance as evidence that he is part of the “swamp” that Trump promised to drain. Others and some Democrats wish that instead of Powell voting for Joe Biden in November, it would be the other way around.