President Donald Trump called Democrats’ impeachment inquiry a “coup” on Tuesday.

“As I learn more and more each day, I am coming to the conclusion that what is taking place is not an impeachment, it is a COUP…” Trump tweeted.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) announced a formal impeachment inquiry on Sept. 24 after reports surfaced alleging that Trump pressured the president of Ukraine to investigate political rival, Joe Biden.

A coup is defined as “the violent overthrow or alteration of an existing government by a small group,” so critics were quick to denounce his choice of words.

“It’s not a coup to hold the President of the United States accountable to the rule of law and the Constitution,” tweeted one user.

In a thread of tweets, technologist Tom Coates tweeted that “this is not an attack on democracy, it is explicitly in defense of it.”

“No. You’re panicking to the point where you’re prepared to throw out any words you can, in the hope of riling up your excitable base,” tweeted author Michael Marshall Smith. “It’s not a ‘coup’. It’s a long-overdue reckoning.”

Trump had previously referred to the Mueller probe as a coup as well.

“They tried for a coup, it didn’t work out so well. And I didn’t need a gun for that one, did I?” Trump said in April at the National Rifle Association’s annual meeting.

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