WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Tuesday again waded into America’s fraught racial history by labeling the impeachment inquiry against him a “lynching” — language that conjured memories of decades of killings of thousands of black people — drawing swift bipartisan condemnation.
“All Republicans must remember what they are witnessing here — a lynching. But we will WIN!” Trump wrote on Twitter, referring to the impeachment inquiry in the Democratic-led House of Representatives focusing on his request that Ukraine investigate a domestic political rival, Democrat Joe Biden.
Lynching refers to the murder of thousands of Americans, most of them black, between the 1880s and 1960s, as African-Americans struggled for their rights as U.S. citizens in the aftermath of the Civil War in which Southern states fought in vain to maintain black slavery.
“The President should not compare a constitutionally mandated impeachment inquiry to such a dangerous and dark chapter of American history. It’s irresponsible for him to do so, and I hope that he will apologize,” said House Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries, who is black.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican, said, “Given the history in our country, I would not compare this to a lynching. That was an unfortunate choice of words.” McConnell added that he viewed the House inquiry as “an unfair process” that is denying Trump “procedural safeguards.”
Some Republican allies agreed with Trump’s use of the word lynching.
“It shows a lot of things about our national media. When it’s about Trump, who cares about the process, as long as you get him. So, yeah, this is a lynching in every sense. This is un-American,” Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, whose home state of South Carolina has a large black population, told reporters.