Sen. Kamala Harris. Photo: ROBYN BECK / Contributor/Getty Images

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) on Saturday recollected President Trump's recent characterization of House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry as a “lynching," at 2019 Second Step Presidential Justice Forum at Benedict College, a historically black college.

What she's saying: "What do we have in Donald Trump? Someone who dares — dares — to use the word 'lynching' with the blood that has been poured on the soil of South Carolina and so many place. And dares to talk about his victimization and compare it to those who have suffered in a criminal justice system in America that has too often been informed by racial bias and by injustice. And he dares to compare himself to the people who have been at the wrong end of a system that is in need of reform."

Harris had backed out of the criminal justice forum in South Carolina on Friday, saying she would not be complicit in “pandering” to the president’s record on racial issues.

  • She then reversed course on Saturday, opting to participate in the event following the removal of the event's sponsor that had presented Trump with the annual "Bipartisan Justice Award."

At the forum, she addressed the "elephant in the room," explaining: "I just couldn't believe that Donald Trump would be given an award as it relates to criminal justice reform. Let's be clear, this is someone who has disrespected the voices that have been present for decades about the need for reform of this system, the people who have marched for justice in this system, the people who have sacrificed to create leadership around justice in this system ... this being an election in 2020, that I believe very much puts justice on the ballot."

Go deeper: Trump jabs Harris for cancelling criminal justice event appearance

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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

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Ina Fried, author of Login
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