Colin Powell announced on Sunday (Jan. 10) that he no longer considers himself a member of the Republican Party, following the Trump supporter-led attack on the nation’s Capitol last week. Powell, who served as secretary of state under the George W. Bush administration, made the comments during an interview with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria.
When asked whether or not Republicans encouraged Trump and the series of events that led to Wednesday’s (Jan. 6) riot, Powell responded, “They did, and that’s why I can no longer call myself a fellow Republican.”
“I’m not a fellow of anything right now. I’m just a citizen who has voted Republican [and] voted Democrat throughout my entire career,” he continued. “And right now, I’m just watching my country and not concerned with parties.”
Powell has been a longtime critic of Trump and voted against him in 2016 and supported President-Elect Joe Biden this past fall. On Sunday, he condemned Republicans for enabling Trump and putting their career interests ahead of the country’s needs.
“I do not know how [Trump] was ale to attract all of these people; they should have known better,” he told Zakaria. “But they were so taken by their political standing and how none of them wanted to put themselves at political risk. They would not stand up and tell the truth or stand up and criticize him or criticize others.”
“That’s what we need — we need people who will speak the truth, who remember that they are here for our fellow citizens,” he added. “They are here for our country. They are not here simply to be re-elected again.”
Powell added that he would support a Senate conviction of Trump if he was serving in the chamber; as House Democrats move to impeach the president.
“I would have done it last time if I had the opportunity,” he told CNN.
See a clip from Powell’s interview below.