Former Republican Secretary of State Colin Powell said Sunday that President Donald Trump has "drifted away" from the Constitution, adding to a growing list of former top military officials who have strongly criticized the President's response to the nationwide protests surrounding the police killing of George Floyd.
"We have a Constitution. And we have to follow that Constitution. And the President has drifted away from it," Powell, a retired general who served under President George W. Bush, told CNN's Jake Tapper on "State of the Union."
The comments from Powell, the first African American secretary of state and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, add to a growing list of rebukes made in recent days by former top officials who have expressed discontent with Trump's strongman approach to the protests sparked by the death of Floyd, a black man who was killed in late May by a white police officer in Minneapolis.
Powell said he's "proud" of what a number of former generals, admirals and diplomats have said about Trump's response last week to the widespread protests, adding that he hadn't released a public statement denouncing Trump's response because he felt he had demonstrated his displeasure with Trump in 2016 when he voted against him.
"I think what we're seeing now, this 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 told Tapper.
Powell throws his support behind Biden
The former Republican official also said he is he is planning to vote for Democrat Joe Biden for president in November, again voting against Trump as he had done in 2016.
"I'm very close to 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," Powell said.