Many people spoke out quickly, denouncing the president’s comparison of the House’s constitutional right to what lynching actually is, which deprived a person of a trial or due process, something that happened to many black Americans throughout U.S. history, according to an NBC News report. Between 1882 and 1968, in excess of 4,700 lynchings occurred in the United States. Of those victims, more than 3,400 were black.
Among those who pushed back against that characterization was Senator and Democratic primary presidential candidate, Kamala Harris.
“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,” Harris tweeted.
Another person who quickly denounced the president’s use of such a loaded term was Representative Bobby Rush, a Democrat from Illinois.
“You think this impeachment is a LYNCHING? What the hell is wrong with you? Do you know how many people who look like me have been lynched, since the inception of this country, by people who look like you. Delete this tweet.”
Representative Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, a Republican, also quickly called on Trump to “retract” his comparison. For Kinzinger, a word like “lynching” should not be used to make comparisons in politics.
— The View (@TheView) October 22, 2019
Democratic primary presidential candidate and Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts also decried the president’s terminology on Twitter. She called his choice of words “disgraceful,” and she noted that nobody in the United States is above the law — including the POTUS.
Representative Karen Bass, a Democrat from California and chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus, also spoke against Trump’s characterization of the impeachment inquiry. Representative Yvette Clarke, a Democrat from New York, declared Trump offensive, but she also urged people not to get caught up in what she believes is a distraction technique the president is using.
Representative Jim Clyburn, who is a Democrat representing South Carolina, spoke about presidential history. He felt the president’s use of the word offended his sense of history and mentioned that Trump is often “loose” with his words.
However, Republican Senator Lindsay Graham of South Carolina, a staunch supporter of Trump, spoke out in a confirmation of the president’s comparison of what is happening to him to what happened when mobs attacked and killed black men who were often innocent of any crime. In Graham’s view, the House impeachment inquiry fits the definition correctly.
In addition to Graham, Republican Newt Gingrich also defended Trump’s comparison during an appearance as a guest host on the ABC morning talk show The View.