Anita Hill: Trump co-opting 'lynching' language is 'ludicrous and insulting'

Anita Hill: Trump co-opting 'lynching' language is 'ludicrous and insulting'
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Brandeis University professor Anita HillAnita Faye HillAnita Hill to Iowa crowd: 'Statute of limitations' for Biden apology is 'up' Sanders campaign official: Biden 'actively courted pro-segregation senators' to block black students from white schools Electability is key to Democrats' 2020 fortunes MORE on Thursday condemned President TrumpDonald John TrumpSchiff pleads to Senate GOP: 'Right matters. And the truth matters.' Anita Hill to Iowa crowd: 'Statute of limitations' for Biden apology is 'up' Sen. Van Hollen releases documents from GAO investigation MORE for likening the House impeachment inquiry to a "lynching," saying that the president's use of the term was "ludicrous and insulting."

"It’s just ludicrous," Hill, who in the 1990s accused then-Supreme Court nominee Clarence ThomasClarence ThomasAnita Hill to Iowa crowd: 'Statute of limitations' for Biden apology is 'up' Sanders campaign official: Biden 'actively courted pro-segregation senators' to block black students from white schools Electability is key to Democrats' 2020 fortunes MORE of sexual harassment, said during the CNN's Citizen conference. "The idea that a person with this kind of power and authority could co-opt this language on his own personal behalf is ludicrous and insulting and we need to call it out for that."

"We also have to go back to the reality that this is a tactic. This is a divisive tactic to get people to push back on any kind of challenges. It’s not really different from what happened in 1991," she added, referring to confirmation hearings in which she testified that Thomas made unwanted sexual advances toward her. Thomas has adamantly denied the accusations. 

Hill's critical comments came just days after Trump compared the impeachment inquiry to a "lynching" while lashing out at Democratic lawmakers over how they have handled the proceedings.

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"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," Trump tweeted. "All Republicans must remember what they are witnessing here — a lynching. But we will WIN!"

The remarks prompted swift condemnations from a host of GOP and Democratic lawmakers, with many pointing to the United States' dark history of extrajudicial mob killings. More than 4,700 lynchings occurred in the U.S. between 1882 and 1968, with the majority of the victims being black Americans, according to the NAACP

Multiple Republicans, including Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsSchiff pleads to Senate GOP: 'Right matters. And the truth matters.' Senate Republicans confident they'll win fight on witnesses Susan Collins asked Justice Roberts to intervene after Nadler late-night 'cover-up' accusation MORE (R-Maine), called on the president to retract the remarks. 

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiDemocrats hammer abuse of power charge, allege Trump put self over country Overnight Energy: Trump issues rule replacing Obama-era waterway protections | Pelosi slams new rule as 'an outrageous assault' | Trump water policy exposes sharp divides Pelosi slams Trump administration's new water rule: 'An outrageous assault' MORE (D-Calif.) last month announced a formal impeachment inquiry into Trump following revelations that his administration pressured Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenSchiff pleads to Senate GOP: 'Right matters. And the truth matters.' Anita Hill to Iowa crowd: 'Statute of limitations' for Biden apology is 'up' Sen. Van Hollen releases documents from GAO investigation MORE, who is running for president, and his son Hunter. 

Multiple House committees have held closed-door depositions with a range of administration officials as part of the inquiry, sparking outrage from Trump and other Republicans over what they view as a lack of transparency. Dozens of GOP lawmakers delayed a deposition on Wednesday by about five hours after storming into a secure room in the Capitol to protest the handling of the inquiry.