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Biden apologizes for calling Clinton impeachment a 'partisan lynching'

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenNoem touts South Dakota coronavirus response, knocks lockdowns in CPAC speech On The Trail: Cuomo and Newsom — a story of two embattled governors Biden celebrates vaccine approval but warns 'current improvement could reverse' 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 TrumpNoem touts South Dakota coronavirus response, knocks lockdowns in CPAC speech On The Trail: Cuomo and Newsom — a story of two embattled governors McCarthy: 'I would bet my house' GOP takes back lower chamber in 2022 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 RushHouse Democrats criticize Texas's 'shortcomings in preparations' on winter storms Over 40 lawmakers sign letter urging Merrick Garland to prioritize abolishing death penalty Woman who lived in church three years goes home under Biden deportation freeze 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.”