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Former Secretary of State and retired four-star Gen. Colin Powell said on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday that he will be voting for Joe Biden in November, rebuking President Trump as a liar and claiming he has "drifted away" from the Constitution.

Why it matters: Powell is one of a number of GOP leaders and military officials who are either openly denouncing Trump or declining to say whether they will support his re-election in the wake of his response to the George Floyd protests.

What he's saying: "The first thing that troubled me is the whole birthers movement," Powell, who did not vote for Trump in 2016, told CNN. "Birthers movement had to do with the fact that the president of the United States, President Obama, was a black man. That was part of it."

  • "And then I was deeply troubled by the way in which he was going around insulting everybody," Powell continued. "Insulting gold star mothers, insulting John McCain, insulting immigrants, and I'm a son of immigrants. Insulting anybody who dared to speak against him."
  • "And that is dangerous for our democracy, it is dangerous for our country. And I think what we're seeing now, the most massive protest movement I have ever seen in my life, I think suggests the country is getting wise to this and we're not going to put up with it anymore.

The big picture: Powell's criticism of Trump follows blistering statements from other military leaders over the past week, including former Defense Secretary James Mattis, who condemned the president as a threat to the Constitution.

  • Powell said he is "proud" of his fellow military leaders who are speaking out: "They were willing to take the risk of speaking honesty and speaking truth to those who are not speaking truth."

The other side: Trump tweeted late Sunday, "Colin Powell was a pathetic interview today on Fake News CNN. In his time, he was weak & gave away everything to everybody - so bad for the USA. Also got the “weapons of mass destruction” totally wrong, and you know what that mistake cost us? Sad! Only negative questions asked."

Go deeper: The president vs. the Pentagon

Editor's note: This article has been updated with Trump's comments.

Go deeper

Trump says he wanted to assassinate Bashar al-Assad but Mattis was opposed to it

President Trump on Tuesday confirmed that he wanted to order an assassination against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, but former Secretary of Defense James Mattis "was against it."

What he's saying: "I would have rather taken him out. I had him all set. Mattis didn't want to do it," Trump said on "Fox & Friends." His comments confirm a detail reported in journalist Bob Woodward's 2018 book "Fear."

1 hour ago - Health

Pfizer begins clinical trial for Omicron-specific COVID vaccine

A health worker in Palestine preparing a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech's coronavirus vaccine on Jan. 24. Photo: Majdi Fathi/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Pfizer and BioNTech announced Tuesday that they have started clinical trials for a reformulated vaccine to protect against the Omicron coronavirus variant.

Why it matters: The rise of the Omicron variant has forced vaccine makers to reassess the effectiveness of their vaccines.

Retail stock traders power stunning comeback after deep selloff

Illustration: Megan Robinson/Axios

Stocks staged a Patrick Mahomes-esque comeback Monday, after plunging for the first few hours of trading.

Why it matters: The remarkable recovery suggests that retail traders who upended markets over the last year — most notably during the GameStop bonanza that occurred almost exactly a year ago — continue to be powerful influence in the markets.