After Slamming Trump, Biden Apologizes For Referring To 'Partisan Lynching' In 1998

NPR-1 year before

Enlarge this image Former vice president and current Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden apologized on Tuesday for using the word "lynching" in 1998 to describe the impeachment of then-President Bill Clinton. Above, Biden speaks at this year's Democratic Women's Leadership Forum.

Within a span ...f a few hours, former vice president and current 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden both condemned President Trump's use of the word "lynching" to describe the impeachment inquiry — and apologized for doing virtually the same thing more than 20 years ago.

Biden's apology came Tuesday night after a 1998 CNN video clip began making the rounds on social media. In the video, Biden called the Republican-led impeachment of then-President Bill Clinton a "partisan lynching."

1998 CNN video clip "Even if the president should be impeached, history is going to question whether or not this was just a partisan lynching or whether or not it was something that in fact met the standard — the very high bar that was set by the Founders as to what constituted an impeachable offense."

Biden issued a mea culpa via Twitter late on Tuesday, saying, "This wasn't the right word to use and I'm sorry about that."

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. https://t.co/mHfFC8HluZ

October 23, 2019 Several hours earlier, Biden had slammed Trump for characterizing House Democrats' impeachment inquiry as "a lynching." Biden said Trump's use of the term was "despicable."

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

So some day, if a Democrat becomes President and the Republicans win the House, even by a tiny margin, they can impeach the President, without due process or fairness or any legal rights. All Republicans must remember what they are witnessing here - a lynching. But we will WIN!

October 22, 2019 Early Tuesday, Trump had tweeted, "All Republicans must remember what they are witnessing here - a lynching. But we will WIN!"

tweeted As NPR reported, Trump's tweet drew criticism from both sides of the aisle. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., called Trump's comments "an unfortunate choice of words" and said, "Given the history in our country, I would not compare this to a lynching."

NPR reported House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., was among those who sought to distance themselves from the rhetoric, saying, "That's not the language I would use."

Twitter Analysis Shows How Trump Tweets Differently About Nonwhite Lawmakers Twitter Analysis Shows How Trump Tweets Differently About Nonwhite Lawmakers Twitter Analysis Shows How Trump Tweets Differently About Nonwhite Lawmakers By late Tuesday, media outlets from The Washington Post to Fox News had unearthed video clips in which other Democrats, such as Rep. Gregory Meeks, D-N.Y., used similar language as Biden did when discussing the impeachment of Clinton.

The Washington Post Fox News "What we are doing here is not a prosecution — it's a persecution. And indeed it's a political lynching," Meeks said in 1998.

Appearing on CNN on Wednesday, Meeks was asked whether he had been wrong to use that type of language back then. Meeks, who is a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, was unequivocal in his response.

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