President Donald Trump on Tuesday referred to the impeachment inquiry in the House of Representatives as “a lynching,” deploying perhaps his most inflammatory rhetoric yet to describe the Democratic-led probe into his conduct.
“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 wrote on Twitter. “All Republicans must remember what they are witnessing here - a lynching. But we will WIN!”
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!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 22, 2019
Trump has frequently parroted the phrase “witch hunt” and other politically explosive language to denigrate the work of former special counsel Robert Mueller and various congressional investigations into his administration.
But the invocation of “lynching” to characterize a legislative process explicitly sanctioned by the Constitution marks a new, racially insensitive show of malice by the president toward lawmakers’ efforts to remove him from office.
According to an online archive of Trump's social media feed, he only tweeted the term on one other occasion, in a September 2015 post praising conservative radio host Mark Levin.
Throughout his 2016 campaign and continuing into his presidency, Trump has been accused of fomenting racial animus and assailing his Democratic rivals with racist or crass criticisms.
Over the summer, Trump faced widespread condemnation for calling into question the patriotism of four freshman congresswomen of color, tweeting that those U.S. citizens should “go back” to their countries of origin.
Trump was also rebuked for attacking the late African-American Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) as “racist” and “a brutal bully,” and charging that his predominantly black, Baltimore-based congressional district was “a disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess” where “no human being” would want to live.
House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.), the highest-ranking African American in Congress, denounced Trump's tweet Tuesday, telling CNN that the three American presidents who previously faced impeachment threats would not have likened their situations to lynchings.