Senator Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) on Tuesday endorsed President Trump’s characterization of the Democrat-led impeachment inquiry as a “lynching.”
“All Republicans must remember what they are witnessing here – a lynching,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “But we will WIN!”
The comments prompted immediate criticism from Democrats.
“That is one word that no president ought to apply to himself,” House Majority Whip Tim Clyburn (D., S.C.) said in an interview on CNN.
However, Graham stood by Trump’s comments.
“This is a lynching in every sense. This is un-American,” Graham said in response. “I’ve never seen a situation in my lifetime as a lawyer where somebody is accused of a major misconduct who cannot confront the accuser, call witnesses on her behalf and have the discussion in the light of day so the public can judge.”
Democrats leading the impeachment inquiry are investigating whether Trump withheld military aid from Ukraine to pressure the country to investigate corruption allegations against former vice president Joe Biden and his son Hunter.
Graham was asked if he could understand the offense taken by African-Americans at Trump’s invocation of a historic racial injustice.
“Yes, African Americans have [been] lynched. Other people have been lynched throughout history,” Graham responded. “What does lynching mean? That a mob grabs you, they don’t give you a chance to defend yourself, they don’t tell you what happened to you, they just destroy you. That’s exactly what’s happening in the United States House of Representatives right now.”
Graham has generally been a staunch ally of President Trump throughout the impeachment process, although in a Sunday interview he did not rule out impeachment if lawmakers brought to his attention evidence of a crime committed by Trump.
The South Carolina lawmaker has also pushed back vigorously against Trump’s order to withdraw American troops from northeast Syria.