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US: Can't call myself a Republican anymore, says Colin Powell

News Agencies | Updated on: 11 January 2021, 15:34 IST

In the wake of Capitol riots on Wednesday, Former United States Secretary of State Colin Powell said that he no longer considers himself a Republican.

Speaking to CNN's Fareed Zakaria on Sunday, he said that "this is a moment for accountability" adding that this is a moment to "place blame" on those who have done on people who have done people who have done things that are wrong, while referring to the President Donald Trump supporters who stormed Capitol Hill to halt certification of the electoral college vote.

While many world leaders have expressed concerns over the events that took place on Wednesday, the former secretary of state under President George W. Bush said that the US "will come out of this".

"I have no fear for our country -- we will come out of this. We will get out of this okay but we have got to get Mr Trump out of this entirely. He is going to be gone one way or another next week (January 20 -- President-elect Joe Biden's swearing-in ceremony)," he said.

"The big challenge we are going to have is how do we convince all of our citizens. How do we convince our citizens that we need to convince our society," Powell asked while citing a challenge to convince those who voted for Trump in the Presidential election in November.

The former Secretary of State said that he is not a fellow of anything right now. "I'm just a citizen who has voted Republican, voted Democrat throughout my entire career, and right now I'm just watching my country and not concerned with parties," Powell said.

"I do not know how he was able to attract all of these people. They should have known better, but they were so taken by their political standing and how none of them wanted to put themselves at political risk. They would not stand up and tell the truth or stand up and criticize him, or criticise others," he continued as quoted by The Hill.

Powell, who also served as the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under former President George H.W. Bush and as national security adviser under former President Reagan, told CNN that "we need people who will speak the truth, who remember that they are here for our fellow citizens."

"They are here for our country. They are not here simply to be reelected again. Come on, guys. You can make it in private life if you don't get reelected, but right now we need you to be real Americans who we can trust, who will tell the truth, who will argue on the basis of facts and not just argue on the basis of what their primary looks like," he said.

According to The Hill, Powell told NBC that he hoped that Trump resigned as calls for impeachment rise across DC. "I wish he would just do what [former President] Nixon did, and that's (to) step down," Powell told NBC's "Today" show. "Somebody ought to go up there and tell him, 'It's over. The plane's waiting for you. You're out.'"

"That way, he would not only step down; he would in addition sort of cut the guts out from underneath this group of people he has working for him," he continued.

Chaotic and violent scenes erupted at the Capitol on Wednesday as supporters of Trump stormed the building to protest the Electoral College vote, forcing a lockdown and confrontations with the police. At least five people were killed in the riot.


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First published: 11 January 2021, 15:29 IST