Every now and then, Gen. Colin Powell steps out of his reserve to publicly comment on the state of the world, and this is one of those times — with the former secretary of state saying Donald Trump has changed the presidency for the worse.
“You see things that should not be happening,” Powell told CNN’s Fareed Zakaria on Sunday. “How can a president of the United States get up and say that the media is the enemy of Americans? Hasn’t he read the First Amendment? You are not supposed to like everything the press says, or what anyone says … that’s why we have the First Amendment, to protect that kind of speech.”
Powell, who spoke out against Trump during the 2016 campaign, joined the group of critics who question whether Trump suffers from narcissism.
Powell said Trump has made a play on the general’s three favorite words from the Constitution, “We the people …” Powell explained Trump has changed the phrase to “me the president.”
Powell served as secretary of state from 2001 to 2005 under the younger President Bush. He was the first Jamaican-American to serve on the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
“I hope the president can come to the realization that he should really stop insulting people,” Powell told CNN. “I used this two years ago when I said I could not vote for him in the 2016 election. Why? He insulted everybody. He insulted African Americans. He insulted women. He insulted immigrants. He insulted our best friends around the world – all his fellow candidates up on the stage during the debates. I don’t think that’s what should be coming out of a president of the United States. But I don’t see anything that’s changed in the last two years.”
Powell had some advice for Americans and lawmakers: that we “take a hard look” at ourselves and keep “forces in check.”
“The world is watching,” Powell said. “They cannot believe we’re doing things like separating mothers and children who are trying to get across the border from south of our border. They can’t believe we’re making such an effort to cease immigration coming into the country. It’s what’s kept us alive.”