Illinois Congressman Bobby Rush on Tuesday blasted President Donald Trump for comparing the impeachment inquiry to 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,” tweeted Rush, a Chicago Democrat who is African American.
Later, Rush tweeted that if Trump “wishes to learn about actual lynching,” the president should read a Rush-sponsored bill that would make lynching a hate crime.
Other lawmakers also criticized the president for comparing a deadly and racist chapter in U.S. history to a process laid out in the Constitution.
Sen. Doug Jones, D-Ala., tweeted to Trump: “No sir! No, @realDonaldTrump: this is NOT a lynching, and shame on you for invoking such a horrific act that was used as a weapon to terrorize and murder African Americans.”
“That is one word no president ought to apply to himself,” said Democratic Rep. James Clyburn of South Carolina, the highest-ranking African American in Congress.
“That is a word that we ought to be very, very careful about using” he said.
Under pressure over impeachment, blowback over his Syria policy and other issues, the president tweeted Tuesday: “All Republicans must remember what they are witnessing here — a lynching. But we will WIN!”
If the President wishes to learn about actual lynching, I would encourage him to read, support, & pass my bill, the Emmett Till Antilynching Act, which makes lynching a federal hate crime.— Bobby L. Rush (@RepBobbyRush) October 22, 2019
Unfortunately for him, there are no anti-impeachment sections. https://t.co/onWlWpifX6
Republicans legislators largely tried to put the focus on what they said was the unfair way in which Democrats are conducting the impeachment inquiry.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said Trump’s description was “pretty well accurate.” He called the impeachment effort a “sham” and a “joke” because the president does not know the identity of his accuser, and the process is playing out in private.
Lynchings, including hangings, were used mostly by whites against black men in the South, beginning in the late 19th century amid rising racial tensions.
The Associated Press contributed.