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Former RNC chairman Michael Steele rebukes Trump, Graham for 'lynching' remarks

Former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, the first African American ever to hold the position, blasted both President TrumpDonald TrumpMore than two-thirds of Americans approve of Biden's coronavirus response: poll Sarah Huckabee Sanders to run for governor Mexico's president tests positive for COVID-19 MORE’s comparison of the House’s impeachment inquiry to a lynching Tuesday and Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamSenators spar over validity of Trump impeachment trial Trump selects South Carolina lawyer for impeachment trial Democrats formally elect Harrison as new DNC chair MORE’s (R-S.C.) defense of it.

“[T]his is a lynching," he tweeted, along with a photo of the lynching of George Meadows in Jefferson County, Alabama, in 1889.

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He continued, "Trump this is not happening to you and it’s pathetic that you act like you’re such a victim; but it did happen to 147 black people in your state Lindsey. ‘A lynching in every sense’? You should know better."

Meadows was accused by a mob of men of sexually assaulting a white woman who herself begged them not to kill him, saying she was unsure whether he was the perpetrator. The men repeatedly shot his body after hanging him, and distributed photos of his body.

Numerous Democrats have condemned Trump’s tweet, including House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.), the highest-ranking African American in Congress, who said on CNN, “I'm a product of the South. I know the history of that word … That is a word that we ought to be very, very careful about using."

Graham, one of Trump’s most vocal defenders in the Senate, said earlier Tuesday morning that the impeachment inquiry was “a lynching in every sense."

“I think lynching is being seen as somebody taking the law in their own hands and out to get somebody for no good reason,” he said.