As another key career diplomat witness appeared on Tuesday in the impeachment inquiry into U.S. President Donald Trump's dealings with Ukraine, Trump called himself the victim of a "lynching," a comment that dredged up a painful chapter in race relations and was swiftly condemned by numerous lawmakers.
As testimony continued in the impeachment investigation on Capitol Hill, U.S. President Donald Trump again waded into America's fraught racial history by labeling the impeachment inquiry against him a "lynching"….tweeting quote - "All Republicans must remember what they are witnessing here - a lynching But we will WIN!" The tweet immediately drew sharp criticism from democratic lawmakers and civil rights activists.
Senator Kamala Harris tweeting in response - quote: "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." South Carolina democratic Congressman Jim Clyburn said he resents the accusation.
SOUNDBITE (English) U.S. REPRESENTATIVE JIM CLYBURN (D) SOUTH CAROLINA, SAYING: "To compare the constitutional process to something like lynching is far beneath the office of the President of the United States." Some Republicans, like House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, questioned the word choice.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) HOUSE MINORITY LEADER KEVIN MCCARTHY, SAYING: "That's not the language I would use." While other Republicans like Senator Lindsey Graham defended the president.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) SENATOR LINDSEY GRAHAM, SAYING: "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." -- and White House spokesman Hogan Gidley said Trump was just expressing his feelings.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY HOGAN GIDLEY, SAYING: "What he's explaining clearly is how he's been treated by the media since he announced for president." Asked if he understood why African Americans might be upset by the reference, Gidley had this to say: (SOUNDBITE) (English) WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY HOGAN GIDLEY, SAYING: "What the president has done for the African American community is something no other president has been able to accomplish in my lifetime." 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.