Representative Eric Swalwell Appears To Fart On Live TV, Later Insists ‘It Was Not Me’

U.S. Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) speaks as Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire testifies before the House Select Committee on Intelligence.
Alex Wong / Getty Images

An incredibly intriguing scandal is brewing in American politics, and it’s not a new development in the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. It has been dubbed “fart gate” on Twitter, and Rep. Eric Swalwell set off the speculation that he passed gas on live TV tonight during an interview on MSNBC from Capitol Hill. However, the California Democrat denied that he is the one who made the distinctly fart-like sound during the interview.

“It was not me!!!!!” he wrote in a text to BuzzFeed News. “Ha. And I didn’t hear it when I was speaking.”

The incident occurred while Swalwell talked with MSNBC Hardball host Chris Matthews on Monday evening. The sound happened about 34 seconds into the interview, which ended up lasting roughly five minutes.

“Chris, so far, the evidence is uncontradicted that the president used taxpayer dollars to help him cheat an election,” Swalwell said.

However, during a small pause after the representative said “cheat,” the offensive sound occurred, and Swalwell appeared to try not to smile, even though he claimed that he didn’t even hear the noise on his side of the interview. The interview continued for several minutes without any other incidents, and the fart sound did not appear to disrupt anything.

Although he did not accept responsibility for the fart noise, Rep. Swalwell did admit that the clip and the sound were “funny though.”

Twitter users immediately jumped in with theories and jokes in reply to the incident.

“Haha. It’s obviously a chair readjusting or scooting, but the timing is epic… coupled with the slight break in his monologue at the same time,” wrote one person.

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“The fart heard around the world…..” another Twitter user joked.

So far, neither MSNBC nor Matthews has addressed the situation publicly, and many people wondered who caused the sound, which may have been a chair moving across the floor. It’s also possible that somebody else on the show or behind the scenes might have been responsible for the (un)timely fart sound.

During the interview, Matthews pointed out that so far, Republicans who’ve been involved in the public hearings in the impeachment testimony have tried to discredit the whole thing as being secondhand knowledge. However, this week’s slate of witnesses includes multiple people who supposedly listened in on Trump’s July 25 call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Swalwell made the point that an innocent person doesn’t try to intimidate witnesses. At the end of the interview, Matthews noted that Swalwell will have quite the week ahead of him. However, it’s unlikely he anticipated that part of the congressman’s big week would include the fart noise and accompanying jokes.