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Trump Compared His Impeachment To Black People Being Killed By Racists

The White House defended Trump later, saying he "has used many words to describe the way he has been treated" by the press.

Posted on October 22, 2019, at 12:48 p.m. ET

Win Mcnamee / Getty Images

President Donald Trump on Tuesday once again used a racist remark, this time calling the ongoing impeachment inquiry against him a "lynching."

Trump said in a tweet that the impeachment inquiry was being conducted "without due process or fairness or any legal rights."

"All Republicans must remember what they are witnessing here - a lynching," he wrote. "But we will WIN!"

Trump has previously used incendiary, racist remarks — opening up a deep racial wound and exposing it to the country’s sharp political divisions — as a way to pit Americans against each other and change the conversation from something he doesn't like.

In Tuesday's case, he was drawing attention away from the impeachment inquiry and the mounting evidence that he withheld aid from a foreign country to advance his personal political agenda.

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. All Republicans must remember what they are witnessing here - a lynching. But we will WIN!

His tweet sparked swift condemnation from Democratic lawmakers — and a few Republicans — while the White House later defended the president, saying he "has used many words to describe the way he has been treated" by the press.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced in September a formal investigation into whether Trump tried to withhold aid to Ukraine in exchange for dirt on former vice president Joe Biden, one of the 2020 Democratic frontrunners.

The president has been vehemently critical of the impeachment inquiry against him, which he has called "illegal" and a "fraud" in the past.

But Trump's use of the word "lynching," calling upon a not-so-distant past when black people were terrorized, hung from trees, and killed by white mobs, appeared to be the most inflammatory rhetoric he's used to malign the impeachment inquiry.

According to the NAACP, there were 4,743 documented lynchings in the United States from 1882–1968. White people, in many cases threatened by the rise of black towns in the South after the end of slavery, conducted lynchings in public under the guise of protecting white women, then posed with the bodies of black people they killed and distributed body parts to the crowd.

Democrats, including several of the 2020 presidential candidates, have condemned Trump's comments.

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. https://t.co/XOlsazwwRL

Don’t take your eye off the ball family. A major witness is testifying today and he’s using a predictable play to try to distract & divide. We see right through him. https://t.co/nLoxQOMd6I

Lynching is a horrific stain on our country's history, and it is beyond disgraceful for Donald Trump to invoke one to avoid being held accountable for his crimes. Nobody is above the law, not even the president of the United States.

Lynching is an act of terror used to uphold white supremacy. Try again.

It’s beyond shameful to use the word “lynching” to describe being held accountable for your actions. https://t.co/WS1yPy8CIE

Several Republican lawmakers, however, have defended the president. When asked by a reporter whether Trump's tweet was appropriate, Rep. Jim Jordan replied, "The president's frustrated." Sen. Lindsey Graham also echoed the president's remarks, calling the impeachment inquiry "a lynching in every sense."

.@Jim_Jordan defends Trump calling the impeachment inquiry a "lynching": "The president's frustrated."

Hogan Gidley, the White House deputy press secretary, told reporters hours after the tweet was posted that Trump wasn't comparing what's happening to him with "one of the darkest moments" in the country's history.

"He has used many words to describe the way he has been treated" by the press, Gidley said.

Some Republicans criticized the remark. Rep. Kevin McCarthy, the leading House Republican, said, "That's not the language I would use."

.@GOPLeader on President Trump's 'lynching' tweet: "That's not the language I would use." Full video here: https://t.co/froGrrURSH

Sen. Susan Collins said it "brings back images of a terrible time in our nation’s history."

“Lynching” brings back images of a terrible time in our nation’s history, and the President never should have made that comparison.

And Rep. Adam Kinzinger, a Republican from Illinois, called for Trump to "retract" the comment.

We can all disagree on the process, and argue merits. But never should we use terms like “lynching” here. The painful scourge in our history has no comparison to politics, and @realDonaldTrump should retract this immediately. May God help us to return to a better way. https://t.co/URKNgxUfiv

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