Colin Powell says he’s no longer a Republican

'We need you to be real Americans who we can trust, who will tell the truth, who will argue on the basis of facts,' Colin Powell said of the Republican Party

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Former Republican Secretary of State Colin Powell has announced that he has distanced himself from the Republican party.

In a Sunday interview with CNN correspondent Fareed Zakaria, Powell reacted to the attack by pro-Donald Trump rioters on the U.S. Capitol which left five people dead.

Zakaria asked if Powell, 83, believed that those Republicans who once refused to disapprove of Trump’s behavior have “encouraged, at least, this wildness to grow and grow.” Powell agreed.

“They did and that’s why I can no longer call myself a fellow Republican,” he replied.

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He added that he’s “not a fellow anything right now” and instead is a citizen who has voted for both Democrats and Republicans throughout the span of his career and is currently observing his country. He endorsed Joe Biden in August 2020, saying he will “be a president we will all be proud to salute.”

As a Republican, Powell was critical of President Trump during his presidency and condemned fellow Republicans for not standing up to him.

In this screenshot from the DNCC’s livestream of the 2020 Democratic National Convention, Former Secretary of State Colin Powell addresses the virtual convention on August 18, 2020. The convention, which was once expected to draw 50,000 people to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is now taking place virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by DNCC via Getty Images) (Photo by Handout/DNCC via Getty Images)

“I do not know how he was able to attract all these people. They should’ve known better but they were so taken by their political standing and none of them wanted to put themselves at political risk, they would not stand up, to tell the truth, or stand up and criticism him, or criticize others,” Powell said.

He said there’s a need for people who will speak the truth and “remember that they’re here for our fellow citizens. They’re here for our country. They’re not here to be simply re-elected again.”

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Powell was the first Black American to serve as the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 1989-1993 and as secretary of state from 2001-2005 under the George W. Bush administration.

He joined the Republican Party in 1996 after deciding not to run for president.

Powell’s announcement regarding the Republican Party comes after two GOP Senators called for President Trump to resign from the office just days before his term ends and President-elect Biden assumes the nation’s top job.

Sens. Pat Toomey and Lisa Murkowski said they believe Trump’s role in inciting the Jan. 6 Capitol attacks was enough to deem him unfit to lead the country. Their reactions differ from many Democrats in the House and Senate who feel the Trump cabinet should invoke the 25th Amendment or that Congress should do its constitutional duty and seek impeachment against Trump for a second time.

theGrio’s Gerren Keith Gaynor contributed to this report.

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