Donald Trump took to Twitter Tuesday (October 22) to voice his disdain over the Democratic-led impeachment inquiry and compared it to a “lynching.”
“So some day, if a Democrat becomes President and the Republicans win the House, even by a tiny margin, they can impeach the President, without due process or fairness or any legal rights,” he tweeted. “All Republicans must remember what they are witnessing here - a lynching. But we will WIN!”
Democratic Presidential candidate Kamala Harris shot back tweeting, “Lynching is a reprehensible stain on this nation’s history, as is this President. We’ll never erase the pain and trauma of lynching, and to invoke that torture to whitewash your own corruption is disgraceful.”
House Majority Whip Rep. Jim Clyburn, a Democrat from South Carolina, and a Black man, also criticized Trump and told CNN, “That is one word no president ought to apply to himself.”
When asked if it offended his sense of history, Clyburn said, “Yes it does. Very much so. I’m not just a politician up here, I’m a Southern politician. I am a product of the South. I know the history of that word. That is a word that we ought to be very, very careful about using.”
Lynchings have historically been associated with the hanging of Black men and women by whites in the United States during the late 19th-century due to racism.
“You think this impeachment is a LYNCHING? What the hell is wrong with you? Do you know how many people who look like me have been lynched, since the inception of this country, by people who look like you,” Rep. Bobby Rush from Illinois, who is also a Black man, tweeted, telling Trump, “Delete this tweet.”
Democratic Rep. Karen Bass from California and chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus tweeted, “You are comparing a constitutional process to the PREVALENT and SYSTEMATIC brutal torture of people in THIS COUNTRY that looked like me?”
Bass then spoke to CNN and said, “Whenever his back is against the wall, a racial bomb is what we know of him to throw.”
When asked if she thought Trump’s tweet was racist, she said, “I think it’s consistent. Why would you use the term lynching? Why would you say that? Well, I think because he throws out race because he knows its red meat and he has done that consistently.”
Joe Walsh, a former GOP congressman who is now running against Trump for the 2020 Republican presidential nomination, tweeted, “Again, I apologize. I apologize for voting for Trump in 2016. I apologize for the role I played in helping to put this horrible human being in the White House.”
According to The Washington Post, while most Republicans remain quiet in response to the backlash of Trump’s word choice, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey O. Graham defended him and told reporters, “This is a lynching in every sense. This is un-American.”
White House spokesman Hogan Gidley said Trump was not comparing his treatment during the impeachment process to what happened to Blacks in the South during “dark times” in U.S. history, The Washington Post reports.
“The president’s not comparing what happened to him with one of your darkest moments in American history. He’s just not,” Gidley told reporters Tuesday (October 22) at the White House.
“What he’s explaining, clearly, is the way he’s been treated by the media since he announced for president,” Gidley said. “He has used many words to describe the way he has been relentlessly attacked.”
Gidley continued in his defense of Trump, telling reporters, “What the president has done for the African-American community is something no other president has been able to accomplish in my lifetime.
“People are upset about President Trump’s words all of the time,” he added. “But what you can’t argue with are the results he’s put forth for the African-American community, whether we’re talking about opportunity zones in inner cities, whether we’re talking about criminal justice reform, which is something Barack Obama, the Democrats clamored for, but only Donald Trump was able to deliver. And the fact that his economic policies have resulted in record-low unemployment in African-American communities as well.”