Former Secretary of State Colin Powell, who has served in the administrations of three Republican presidents, said earlier this month that those who count themselves among the GOP need to hold true to their principles when it comes to President Donald Trump, and calling him out for his behavior.
Powell criticized Republicans for failing to hold Trump to account for myriad issues, People reported.
“They need to get a grip, and when they see things that aren’t right they need to say something about it,” Powell said, while speaking during a lecture focusing on a number of issues. “Because our foreign policy is a shambles right now, in my humble judgment. And I see things happening that are hard to understand.”
Moderating the lecture Powell was speaking at was CNN’s Fareed Zakaria. Also joining Powell onstage for the event was former Sec. of State Madeline Albright, who served under former President Bill Clinton.
Powell also opined that GOP politicians in Congress “are holding back because they’re terrified of what will happen to any one of them if they speak out.”
“The Republican party has got to get a grip on itself,” Former Secy. of State Colin Powell on the state of the current GOP. “Republican leaders and members of the Congress… are holding back because they’re terrified of what will happen [to] any one of them if they speak out." pic.twitter.com/zkCScy8uA1
— CNN (@CNN) October 6, 2019
Powell also chastised those who worked closest to the current president for not correcting him when he did things wrong. The former secretary of State used an example to make his point: a recent event where Trump used a sharpie pen to make his predictions about a hurricane, which he incorrectly stated was heading toward Alabama, seem more accurate.
“In my time, and in [Sec. Albright’s] time, one of us would have gone to the president and said, ‘Mr. President, you screwed up. We got to fix it, and put out a correction,'” Powell explained.
Instead, members of Trump’s inner circle stood by Trump’s insinuations, in spite of the fact that they were incorrect at the time he made them.
Powell took issue with those actions, arguing that those who are closest to Trump, including his allies in Congress, ought to know better and speak out when they know the president is doing something wrong or acting in a negligible way.
“This is not the way the country is supposed to run. And Congress is one of the institutions that should be doing something about it,” Powell said.
Powell, a moderate Republican by his own standards, has not always been the biggest fan of Trump’s. In fact, during the 2016 election, Powell announced in the final week up to Election Day that he would not be voting for Trump, the New York Times reported. Instead, he’d cross party lines, and vote for Hillary Clinton — the Democratic Party’s nominee who, like Powell, had also served as secretary of State under a previous administration.
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