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MSNBC's Johnson Lumps Clarence Thomas in with White Supremacists

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Cross posted to the MRC's NewsBusters blog

On Tuesday's Deadline: White House, during a discussion of Democratic complaints about President Donald Trump accusing them of engaging in a "lynching" against him with their impeachment investigation, MSNBC contributor Jason Johnson tied conservative Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and Republicans to the white supremacists who murdered blacks during the Jim Crow era. This in spite of the fact that the perpetrators were typically Democrats while white Republicans were sometimes targeted for trying to register blacks to vote.

At 4:54 p.m. Eastern, when host Nicolle Wallace asked Johnson -- politics editor of The Root -- for his reaction to President Trump's choice of words, it didn't take long for him to attack Justice Thomas as he declared:

I'm not surprised. This is what the President does, but I think, in the grander scheme of things, I'm old enough to remember when we had a Supreme Court justice who referred to him being asked questions, Clarence Thomas, as the "high-tech lynching of an uppity black man." It's always been fascinating to me that Republican parties and the far right in this country who were primarily responsible for massive domestic terrorism and lynching of black people in this country purely for the fact that we were trying to vote are always the first people to invoke that imagery when they are being held accountable for their behavior.

After he also complained about the reaction of another black Republican, Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina, host Wallace did not press back on Johnson's over the top reaction as she and right-leaning MSNBC contributor Elise Jordan then began attacking South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham for embracing Trump's use of the word "lynching."

Below is a transcript of relevant portions of the Tuesday, October 22, Deadline: White House on MSNBC:

JASON JOHNSON, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: I'm not surprised. This is what the President does, but I think, in the grander scheme of things, I'm old enough to remember when we had a Supreme Court justice who referred to him being asked questions, Clarence Thomas, as the "high-tech lynching of an uppity black man." It's always been fascinating to me that Republican parties and the far right in this country who were primarily responsible for massive domestic terrorism and lynching of black people in this country purely for the fact that we were trying to vote are always the first people to invoke that imagery when they are being held accountable for their behavior.

But I also want to add someone other Lindsay Graham to the list of people who should be ashamed of themselves. Tim Scott -- Senator from South Carolina -- came forward and said, 'Well, you know, maybe not lynching, but it's a death row." No. This has nothing to do with death. The only people who are dying are kids on the border and Kurds right now because of this President. This President is being held accountable by the Constitution that he refuses to follow for his own bad behavior.

And using this sort of red herring of racial animus to activate his side is not going to distract us from holing this President accountable. It's disgusting, and it's typical, but we're not going to fall for it in the media or the American citizens this time.

(…)

NICOLLE WALLACE: We've come to expect this of Donald Trump, as sad as it is, but I was actually galled to see Lindsay Graham, you know, co-sign the statement.

ELISE JORDAN: Lindsey Graham should be ashamed to have failed to call the President out over something that is just completely reprehensible, and I don't know how Lindsey Graham manages to look his African American constituents in the eye the next time he's down in South Carolina.

JOHNSON: He doesn't care.

JORDAN: Yeah, he probably just doesn't care because of the way he responded, it shows that he really didn't think that it was that big of a deal when, I hate to say it, you are not cognizant of that history, look at what could happen again.

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