Powell endorses Trump’s rival Biden for US president

WASHINGTON: Former United States Secretary of State Colin Powell has endorsed Democratic former Vice President Joe Biden for the presidential elections.

Powell, who became the first important Republican to publicly back President Donald Trump’s rival ahead of November’s election, said Trump has drifted away from the US Constitution and posed a danger to the country and its democracy.

Powell led the US military during the 1991 Gulf War in Iraq under then-Republican President George HW Bush and later led the Department of State under President George Bush.

“I cannot in any way support President Trump this year,” Powell, who did not vote for the president in 2016 told US. When asked if he would vote for Biden, he added: “I will be voting for him.”

Powell is the latest former top military officer to rebuke Trump in the wake of sweeping mass protests aimed at fighting racial injustice spurred by the May 25 death of an unarmed Black man, Geroge Floyd, in Minnesota.

“We are in a turning point,” Powell said, critcising Republican senators for not standing up to Trump. “He lies about things. And he gets away with it because people will not hold him accountable.”

Former Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis and other retired officers have condemned Trump in recent days. “Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people, does not even pretend to try. Instead, he tries to divide us,” Mattis said.

Several Republicans have also spoken out against Trump’s handling of the outcry and have raised questions about their support for his re-election bid.

Last week, Senator Lisa Murkowski told reporters she was struggling over whether to back Trump in the November election as did fellow Republican Mitt Romney.

Powell was one of the few prominent Republicans to denounce Trump during the 2016 presidential run and publicly endorsed Trump’s then-rival Hillary Clinton.

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