Republican General Colin Powell Says Trump 'Lies,' Congress Does Nothing, American People Must 'Vote Him Out'

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell said bluntly he believes President Donald Trump tells constant "lies," because the Republican Party and the Congress let him do anything he wants.

Powell, a longtime Republican and retired four-star Army general, said Sunday morning on CNN's State of the Union that he will be voting for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden in November. Powell did not vote for Trump in 2016, citing the then-GOP candidate's insults he said were directed toward African Americans, immigrants and women among others.

He said this week that Trump has drifted away from the U.S. Constitution and directly accused the president of telling blatant lies to the American people.

"The Republican Party, the president, they thought they were so immune they thought they could say anything they wanted," Powell said. "And even more troubling—the Congress will just sit there and not in any way resist what the president is doing. And the one word I have to use with respect to what he's been doing the last several years is a word I would have never used before, with any of the four presidents I've worked for: he lies.

"He lies about things and he gets away with it because people will not hold him accountable," Powell continued. "And so while we're watching him we need to watch our Congress ... Most of all we have the people of the United States, the ones who vote. The ones who vote him in, the ones who vote him out."

Powell went on to say that the American people must circumvent the failures of Congress in placing a check on Trump's lies, reminding them they have the power to "vote him out" on November 3.

The former George W. Bush administration secretary of state joined his former boss in declining to support Trump's 2020 candidacy, according to a Sunday report in The New York Times.

Trump responded to Powell via Twitter: "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!"

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!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 7, 2020

Newsweek reached out to the White House and through Powell's website for additional remarks Sunday morning after the CNN interview with host Jake Tapper.

This is far from Powell's first critical words of Trump. In October 2018, he criticized the president for turning America from "We the People" to "Me the President" alongside fellow former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright on CNN.

"You see things that should not be happening," Powell told host Fareed Zakaria at the time. "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 a First Amendment, to protect that kind of speech."

Echoing this same sentiment this week, Powell said "we are not a country of just the president."

Updated 10:42 AM ET, to include President Trump's Twitter response.

colin powell cnn jake tapper
Former Secretary of State Colin Powell said bluntly he believes President Donald Trump tells lies constantly because the Republican Party and the Congress let him do anything he wants. Screenshot: CNN | YouTube