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Joe Biden sorry for own 'lynching' remark after condemning 'despicable' Donald Trump

Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden. Source: AP

After describing Donald Trump's "lynching" remark as despicable, Joe Biden was forced to apologise for similar remarks in 1998.

The United States presidential hopeful Joe Biden has apologised for his own "lynching" comment after saying Donald Trump's use of the same word was "despicable" and "abhorrent". 

Mr Trump likened the impeachment investigation into his dealings with Ukraine to a "lynching" in a tweet that drew condemnation for his inflammatory reference to decades of killings of thousands of black Americans.

Mr Biden, a Democrat and former Vice President of the United States, said on Twitter that Mr Trump's use of the word was "abhorrent" and "despicable."

However, in 1998 Mr Biden used similar rhetoric when he said the impeachment of President Bill Clinton could be seen as a "partisan lynching."

Mr Biden apologised in a tweet late on Tuesday, saying it "wasn't the right word to use and I’m sorry about that."

Lynching refers to the murder of thousands of Americans, most of them black, between the 1880s and 1960s, as
African-Americans struggled for their rights as US citizens in the aftermath of the Civil War in which Southern states fought in vain to maintain black slavery.

Mr Trump made his comment on Twitter just before Tuesday's closed-door testimony by William Taylor, a US diplomat expected to be an important witness in the inquiry led by Democrats in the US House of Representatives.

President Donald Trump was widely criticised for his use of the word "lynching" when describing his potential impeachment.
President Donald Trump was widely criticised for his use of the word "lynching" when describing his potential impeachment.
AP

House Majority Whip James Clyburn of South Carolina was on CNN minutes after Mr Trump posted the tweet, calling it offensive.

Democratic Senator Cory Booker said lynching was an act of terror used by white supremacists. 

Democratic Representative Bobby L. Rush echoed Mr Clyburn's sentiment, blasting Mr Trump in his own tweet.

George Conway, the husband of senior White House counsellor Kellyanne Conway, tagged the president in a tweet and told him, "You truly are deranged."

Conservative commentator Erick Erickson was one of the first notable Republicans to call out Mr Trump, declaring on Twitter: "It is not a lynching.

"Let's not start dropping words that are important with real historic meaning where we water them down to nothing," he wrote.

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