Ahead of SC visit to HBCU, Trump faces backlash over ‘lynching’ comment in tweet
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Ahead of his visit to South Carolina later this week, when he’s scheduled to attend a candidate forum at an HBCU, several democrats are attacking President Donald Trump for using the word lynching in a tweet to describe the impeachment probe.
“All Republicans must remember what they are witnessing here - a lynching. But we will WIN!” he tweeted in part Tuesday morning.
Lynchings, or hangings, historically were mostly used by whites against black men, mostly in the South, beginning in the late 19th century amid rising racial tensions in the U.S.
“He is an embarrassment, and he is not welcome in our state” South Carolina Democratic Party chairman Trav Robertson Jr. “It is a disgrace to the presidency, the country, and the history of the struggle African Americans have gone through in our history. How does he expect to have any credibility on criminal justice when this is how he speaks about one of the darkest times in our history?”
House Majority Whip Rep. Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., criticized Trump's word choices.
“That is one word no president ought to apply to himself,” Clyburn said on CNN after the president’s tweet was read to him. “That is a word that we ought to be very, very careful about using.”
According to data from the Equal Justice Initiative, there have been 4,084 lynching cases throughout the late 19th and 20th centuries.
In South Carolina, data shows 185 lynching cases were recorded in South Carolina between 1877 and 1950.
Back in February, the U.S. Senate passed South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott’s bill to make lynching a federal hate crime.
Sen. Lindsey Graham says he agrees with President Donald Trump that the Democrats’ impeachment drive is like a “lynching.”
The South Carolina Republican senator told reporters Tuesday that Trump’s description is “pretty well accurate,” adding that the effort is a “sham” and a “joke” because the president doesn’t know the identity of his accuser and the process is playing out in private.
Graham told reporters on Capitol Hill that, “This is a lynching in every sense. This is un-American.”
Sen. Scott also responded to the tweet Tuesday morning.
“There’s no question that the impeachment process is the closet thing to a political death row trial, so I get his absolute rejection of the process," Scott told reporters on Capitol Hill. "I wouldn’t use the word lynching.”
Trump is slated to appear on Friday at a forum sponsored by the 20/20 Bipartisan Justice Center, the self-proclaimed “only nationwide coalition of Black Republicans, Democrats and Independents focused on criminal justice reform.”
The event at Columbia’s Benedict College marks Trump’s first visit to a historically black college or university. Some of the Democrats vying to challenge him are planning to attend, including Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.
Copyright 2019 WCSC. All rights reserved. Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.