President Trump called Colin Powell a “real stiff” on Sunday — after the former secretary of state announced he would endorse Joe Biden for president.
“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 wrote on Twitter shortly after Powell appeared on CNN.
Powell, who is the first African-American to serve as the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and secretary of state, joined with other former military leaders who criticized the president’s comments about using US troops to stop unrest following the death of George Floyd.
“We have a Constitution. And we have to follow that Constitution. And the President has drifted away from it,” Powell said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
Less than an hour later, Trump responded to Powell and listed his accomplishments.
“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!” Trump wrote on Twitter.
Powell, who voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016, said he’s “proud” of the former military officials who have spoken out and that the national and global protests indicate Americans agree.
“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,” Powell told CNN.
Former Defense Secretary James Mattis wrote an op-ed in The Atlantic this week saying Trump “does not even pretend to try” to unite the country and lacks “mature leadership.”
Mattis’ comments came a day after the current Defense Secretary, Mark Esper, said he wouldn’t support Trump’s proposal to use the US military on protesters.
And Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley wrote a memo to the armed forces reminding them of their oaths to the Constitution and that their responsibilities are to “protect lives and property, preserve peace, and ensure public safety.”
“As members of the Joint Forces — comprised of all races, colors and creeds — you embody the values of our Constitution. Please remind all of our troops and leaders that we will uphold the values of our nation, and operate consistent with national laws and our own high standards of conduct at all times,” Milley wrote.
President George W. Bush also is not on board with Trump’s reelection effort, the New York Times reported.
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