On December 18 2019, United States President Donald Trump was impeached on two counts by the House of Representatives; that night and the following day, screenshots and quotations of a tweet purportedly from his son Donald Trump Jr. to then-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and her husband Bill Clinton circulated in the aftermath:
Screenshots of the tweet placed its date in September 2016. That month, Clinton had made remarks in which she described some of Trump’s supporters as a “basket of deplorables”:
We’re going to put comprehensive quality affordable health care within reach for more people, including for mental health and addiction. We’re gonna take on youth homelessness, and as my wonderful, extraordinary, great daughter said, we are going to end the cruel and dangerous practice of conversion therapy. We’re going to keep working toward an AIDS-free generation, a goal that I set as secretary of state, and with your help we’re going to pass comprehensive gun laws…
I know there are only 60 days left to make our case — and don’t get complacent, don’t see the latest outrageous, offensive, inappropriate comment and think well he’s done this time. We are living in a volatile political environment. You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right?
Clinton’s husband, former United States President Bill Clinton, was impeached by the House of Representatives in 1998:
In January 1998, news broke that President Clinton had engaged in an affair with a White House intern, Monica Lewinsky. This story was political dynamite, not just because it was a sex scandal, but also because it had dire legal implications … To many observers, impeachment or resignation seemed to be the only resolution.
Clinton’s scandal dominated political news in 1998. Late that year, the House voted to impeach him:
On August 17, 1998, following his testimony before a federal grand jury on the matter, Clinton acknowledged in a televised address to the nation his “inappropriate” conduct with Lewinsky and admitted that he had misled the nation and embarrassed his family. But he did not admit to having lied, having instructed anyone else to lie, or orchestrating a cover-up involving anyone else.
Starr then sent his report to the House of Representatives alleging that there were grounds for impeaching Clinton for lying under oath, obstruction of justice, abuse of powers, and other offenses. After a vitriolic series of televised House hearings and the release of thousands of documents — many in graphic detail — the House Judiciary Committee, on a strictly partisan vote, recommended that an impeachment inquiry commence. The House adopted two articles of impeachment, charging the President with perjury in his grand jury testimony and obstructing justice in his dealings with various potential witnesses.
However, the Senate did not have a two-thirds majority, and Clinton was not removed from office.
As for Donald Trump Jr.’s “You know what’s deplorable? Being Impeached!!!” tweet, it was both genuine and still on his timeline as of December 2019. Trump Jr. sent the tweet on September 10 2019, not long after Hillary Clinton’s “basket of deplorables” comment became viral news:
You know what's deplorable?
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) September 10, 2016