Former Vice President Joe Biden offered an apology late on Tuesday for previously referring to President Clinton’s impeachment as a “partisan lynching,” just hours after he condemned President Trump for referring to his own impeachment with the same term.
Trump was widely criticized for claiming on Twitter that Republicans are witnessing a “lynching.” Several 2020 Democrats piled on the president, including the 2020 frontrunner.
“Impeachment is not ‘lynching,’ it is part of our Constitution,” Biden reacted. “Our country has a dark, shameful history with lynching, and to even think about making this comparison is abhorrent. It’s despicable.”
However, CNN unearthed an interview Biden did on the network in 1998, where he used the term he blasted Trump for.
“Even if the president should be impeached, history will question whether or not this was a partisan lynching or whether or not it was something that in fact met the standard,” then-Sen. Biden told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, “the very high bar that was set by the founders as to what constituted an impeachable offense.”
As his unearthed remarks went viral, Biden offered an apology … but continued to hammer Trump by insisting he “chose his words deliberately.”
“This wasn’t the right word to use and I’m sorry about that,” Biden tweeted. “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.”
Biden was one of several Democratic lawmakers who used the term “lynching” in the past, including now-Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y, and Rep. Gregory Meeks, D-N.Y.