Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden speaks in Scranton, Pennsylvania, U.S. October 23, 2019. …
Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden speaks in Scranton, Pennsylvania, Oct. 23, 2019.

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, who strongly criticized U.S. President Donald Trump comparing the impeachment probe to a "lynching," has apologized for using the same word in a 1998 interview.

As a senator from Delaware, Biden appeared on CNN and called then-President Bill Clinton's looming impeachment a "partisan lynching."

Biden tweeted his apology Wednesday, saying, "This wasn't the right word to use and I'm sorry about that. Trump, on the other hand chose his words deliberately today in his use of the word lynching and continues to stoke racial divided in the country daily."

The White House has yet to respond to Biden's tweet.

Biden's 1998 CNN interview came as Clinton was facing impeachment for obstruction of justice and lying under oath stemming from a sexual harassment lawsuit.

The House impeached Clinton, but the Senate did not convict and Clinton remained in office until his term ended in 2001.

"Lynching" refers to a murderous practice white supremacists used to terrorize and intimidate freedom-seeking African Americans after the Civil War, and as recently as 1981.

Pictures of black men and women murdered by lynching are some of the most horrifying and sensitive images from the fight for civil rights.