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Biden apologizes for calling Clinton impeachment a 'partisan lynching'

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenPutin says he's optimistic about working with Biden ahead of planned meeting How the infrastructure bill can help close the digital divide Biden meets Queen Elizabeth for first time as president MORE (D) apologized on Tuesday for past comments referring to the impeachment proceedings against President Clinton as a "partisan lynching."

Biden made the apology on Twitter after CNN's Andrew Kaczynski reported that the vice president had made the remark in 1998 during an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer. The term's historical and racial significance was hotly debated Tuesday after President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump DOJ demanded metadata on 73 phone numbers and 36 email addresses, Apple says Putin says he's optimistic about working with Biden ahead of planned meeting Biden meets Queen Elizabeth for first time as president MORE used it to refer to his own impeachment inquiry in a tweet.

"This wasn’t the right word to use and I’m sorry about that," Biden tweeted Tuesday evening. "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."

Trump was heavily criticized by Democrats including Biden earlier in the day after he warned Republicans to "remember what they are witnessing here - a lynching," referring to Democrats' investigation into his efforts to persuade Ukraine's president to open a criminal probe into Biden.

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Numerous Democratic lawmakers including Rep. Bobby RushBobby Lee RushGranholm expresses openness to pipeline cyber standards after Colonial attack Feds eye more oversight of pipelines after Colonial attack Shining a light on COINTELPRO's dangerous legacy MORE (D-Ill.), a civil rights activist and Black Panthers chapter founder, sharply criticized Trump over the tweet.

"You think this impeachment is a LYNCHING? What the hell is wrong with you?" Rush tweeted in response. "Do you know how many people who look like me have been lynched, since the inception of this country, by people who look like you. Delete this tweet.”