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Joe Biden apologises for using the word 'lynching' in 1998 after criticising Trump for his use of it this week

Trump used the word earlier this week referring to the Democrat’s impeachment investigation.

Biden apologised for using the word 'lynching' over 20 years ago
Biden apologised for using the word 'lynching' over 20 years ago
Image: Jason Farmer

US PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE Joe Biden has apologised for his use of the word ‘lynching’ while referring to impeachment proceedings against former president Bill Clinton in 1998. 

It comes after US President Donald Trump came under fire this week for using the same word -  a word which is associated with attacks on African-Americans down through US history. 

Trump tweeted, saying “all Republicans must remember what they are witnessing here – a lynching” in relation to the impeachment investigation by the Democrats in the House of Representatives. 

The US president faced a backlash over his comments, including from Biden who said “impeachment is not ‘lynching,’ it is part of our Constitution”. 

“Our country has a dark, shameful history with lynching, and to even think about making this comparison is abhorrent. It’s despicable,” Biden tweeted.

But in an interview on CNN back in 1998, Biden described the impeachment being brought against then President Bill Clinton as “partisan lynching”. 

In a tweet this afternoon, he apologised for the remarks. 

“This wasn’t the right word to use and I’m sorry about that. Trump on the other hand chose his words deliberately today in his use of the word lynching and continues to stoke racial divides in this country daily,” he said. 

Trump is being investigated for possible impeachment in the Democratic-led House of Representatives over his alleged abuse of office. He is counting on the Republican-dominated Senate to acquit him if the House does vote to impeach.

Kristen Clarke, president of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, said she was “sickened to see Trump’s gross misappropriation of this term today.”

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Clarke said that 4,743 people were lynched in the United States between 1882 and 1968, of which 3,446 were African Americans.

Speaking of Trump’s use of the word earlier this week, Senator Lindsey Graham, an influential Republican, however, said he fully agreed with Trump’s complaint.

“Yes this is a lynching in every sense. This is un-American,” he told reporters.

Graham said that the impeachment probe failed to give Trump the ability to defend himself and is a “complete sham”.

“I will do everything I can to make sure it doesn’t live very long in the Senate,” he said.

With reporting from AFP

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