Former Secretary of State Colin Powell will make a surprise speech during tonight’s Democratic National Convention, Fox News has learned, marking the Republican’s most public dismissal of President Trump since announcing in June that he would vote for presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden.
While he is not on the official list of speakers for Tuesday’s DNC lineup, a source within the Democratic National Committee has confirmed that Powell will be making a speech at the virtual convention.
Powell, who endorsed Barack Obama’s presidential bids in 2008 and 2012 and voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016, has been a fierce critic of Trump – recently criticizing Trump for his handling of the protests following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody. The former secretary of state under President George W. Bush also already said in June that he would be voting for Biden in this year’s general election.
“I certainly cannot, in any way, support President Trump this year,” Powell said on CNN’s “State of the Union” in June. “We have a Constitution and we have to follow that Constitution and the president has drifted away from it.”
“I’m very close to Joe Biden in a social matter and in a political matter,” Powell added. “I’ve worked with him for 35, 40 years. And he is now the candidate and I will be voting for him.”
Trump has not remained quiet when it comes to Powell’s criticisms of his presidency – slamming Powell for incorrectly arguing in front of the United Nations that Iraqi strongman Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction as a justification for the U.S. invasion of the country.
“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,” Trump tweeted. “Didn’t Powell say that Iraq had ‘weapons of mass destruction?’ They didn’t, but off we went to WAR!”
Powell has been sharply critical of Trump even before he was elected, with hacked emails from the former secretary of state showing him calling Trump a “national disgrace” and an “international pariah.” Powell’s emails, which first appeared on the website DCLeaks.com, also have him slamming Trump for questioning former President Barack Obama’s birth certificate.
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
“Yup, the whole birther movement was racist,” Powell wrote. “That’s what the 99 percent believe. When Trump couldn’t keep that up he said he also wanted to see if the certificate noted that he was a Muslim. As I have said before, ‘What if he was?’ Muslims are born as Americans everyday.”
Powell’s appearance at the DNC marks another move by Democrats to sway moderate Republicans tired of Trump over to voting for Biden. The DNC featured speeches on Monday by former Republican Govs. John Kasich of Ohio and Christine Todd Whitman of New Jersey.
It also comes amid speculation that a number of major establishment Republican figures will not be voting for Trump come November. The New York Times reported earlier this summer that President George W. Bush and frequent Trump critic, Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah, will not be voting for the current Oval Office occupant, and there are rumors that former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Cindy McCain, the wife of late Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona, are also considering voting against Trump. (McCain is expected to appear in a video at the DNC on Tuesday night).
Trump has also faced withering criticism from his own former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and the admission by Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska that she is “struggling” with whether to vote for the sitting president of her own party – all of which has increased the speculation that Trump could see a large mutiny from establishment Republicans in the general election.
Author: Andrew O’Reilly
Source: Fox News: Colin Powell to speak at Democratic convention after voicing criticism of Trump