‘Despicable!’: Trump Causes Fury by Claiming Impeachment Is ‘a Lynching’
Social media users have reacted with fury after President Donald Trump compared the impeachment inquiry to a lynching. Trump was up early and tweeting on Tuesday when he chose to use the word ‘lynching’, which has a long and terrible history in the U.S.
“All Republicans must remember what they are witnessing here – a lynching. But we will WIN!” Trump said.
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
Reaction to the President’s tweet was swift and condemnation rolled in from Twitter users, including public figures.
DESPICABLE! Trump mocks and belittles the thousands of African Americans lynched in our country by equating House Democrats following the US Constitution to a "lynching." Trump is truly vile.
— (((DeanObeidallah))) (@DeanObeidallah) October 22, 2019
Conservative lawyer George Conway, who is married to Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway, called Trump ‘deranged’.
— George Conway (@gtconway3d) October 22, 2019
Many speculated about how Trump’s Republican supporters would defend his use of the term, considering the impact it was likely to have on African-Americans in particular.
Lynching?! Sir, don’t you DARE invoke the darkness of America’s viciousness toward black people to defend your corruption. How dare you?!… https://t.co/rxoa5w9LaR
— Charles M. Blow (@CharlesMBlow) October 22, 2019
“Prepare for Trump surrogates to start referring to his possible impeachment as a lynching while wondering why black Americans do not vote for Republicans,” the Washington Post‘s Eugene Scott said.
Democratic presidential candidate Julián Castro weighed in, calling Trump ‘beyond shameful’.
It’s beyond shameful to use the word “lynching” to describe being held accountable for your actions. https://t.co/WS1yPy8CIE
— Julián Castro (@JulianCastro) October 22, 2019
As some noted, this is the first time Trump has referred to impeachment as a ‘lynching’. He has previously described it as a ‘witch hunt’ – a much less loaded term in U.S. culture. Trump’s choice of language Tuesday morning is an escalation of this rhetoric.