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Oct. 22, 2019, 4:57 p.m. EDT

Trump compares impeachment inquiry to lynching, drawing condemnation

‘What the hell is wrong with you?’ asks lawmaker

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By Robert Schroeder, MarketWatch


Associated Press
President Donald Trump.

President Donald Trump on Tuesday compared the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry to a lynching, a statement that drew quick condemnation from lawmakers on Capitol Hill as a key witness testified.

OUTRAGE OVER TWEET

In an early morning tweet ahead of a deposition from acting U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine William Taylor, Trump said, “All Republicans must remember what they are witnessing here — a lynching. But we will WIN!”

Read: U.S. envoy Taylor reportedly says he was told Trump wanted Ukraine aid to be contingent on Biden probe.

“What the hell is wrong with you?” asked Rep. Bobby Rush, an Illinois Democrat who is African-American. “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?” Rush added in a tweet. House Majority Whip James Clyburn of South Carolina, also African-American, told CNN, “that is one word no president ought to apply to himself.” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, said, “Given the history in our country, I would not compare this to a lynching.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham, generally a close Trump ally, backed the president’s use of the fraught term, reportedly saying Trump was in fact facing “a lynching in every sense.”

As Democrats investigate, Trump has repeatedly insisted he did nothing wrong when he spoke with Ukraine’s president in July. White House spokesman Hogan Gidley later told reporters, “the president is not comparing what’s happened to him with one of the darkest moments in American history” and said that Trump has used many different words “to describe the way he has been relentlessly attacked.”

In a text message in September, Taylor said it was “crazy” to withhold security aid to Ukraine for help with a political campaign. Democrats describe the holding up of aid to Ukraine to get that nation’s help investigating Trump’s political rivals as a quid pro quo.

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Robert Schroeder is the White House reporter for MarketWatch. Follow him on Twitter @mktwrobs.

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