Things That Matter

What Do You Think? Did This Congressman Fart On Live TV?

Did Congressman Eric Swalwell fart during an interview on MSNBC’s Hardball with Chris Matthews? Twitter certainly thinks so and #Fartgate has taken political Twitter by storm. The theory appears to have begun when user Andrew Lawrence shared a 5-second clip of the representative with a single caption: “OMFG SOUND ON.” 

Swalwell appears talking as expected, but a couple of seconds in there is an unmistakably loud and distinct fart-like sound. Many believe the hot mic ended up snitching on Swalwell’s bowels but the congressman swears he did not fart. If you think the impeachment hearings are going to damage Trump’s reputation, imagine being known as the congressman who farted. 

#Fartgate was the top trending hashtag on Monday night.

“Chris, so far the evidence is uncontradicted that the president used taxpayer dollars to help him cheat an election,” Swalwell said from the Capitol on Hardball only to be interrupted by a fart sound on live television. 

The audible fart noise sounds so cartoonishly like a fart that it may as well have been a whoopie cushion toy. Most notably in the video, Swalwell seems to acknowledge the toot when he briefly pauses, therefore eliminating the possibility that the noise was added into the video later.  

Reactions on Twitter quickly poured in.

“I heard this live and thought it was my dog. It was not. Turn your sound up. No, really,” journalist Holly Figueroa O’Reilly tweeted.

Some took shot at Swalwell’s excuse for the unfortunate noise mishap.

“Swalwell pauses and flinches at the exact moment someone lightly drags a mug across a desk instead of just picking it up like a regular person What an insane attempt at saving Swalwell,” journalist Tim Pool wrote on Twitter. 

Swalwell says he didn’t even hear the fart. What is the truth? 

Buzzfeed political reporter Addy Baird texted Swalwell to comment on #Fartgate, the congressman denied even hearing the toot. 

“I’m really sorry about this but I have to ask if this was you or someone in the studio,” Baid said in a text to Swalwell. 

Baird told him he looked like he was trying to hold a laugh in during his brief pause. 

“It was not me!!!!!” He wrote back. “Ha. And I didn’t hear it when I was speaking,” adding “I def did not hear it.” 

However, in the age where some politicians cry fake news when confronted with the truth, many users did not believe Swalwell. 

“He paused his speech and ripped one. I can see why he’d not admit to it, but lol to anyone who thinks otherwise,” one user wrote. 

Hardball attempts to clear the air (jajaja). 

While MSNBC did not appear to respond to any of the media’s requests for comment, after deleting a cryptic tweet of the double Spider-man meme, they shared another one. 

“Sorry to disappoint the conspiracy theorists – it was the #hardball mug scraping across the desk. Get yours today and let’s get back to the news!” The MSNBC show wrote on Twitter with a link to purchase the mug. 

People weren’t so keen on this theory. The hard ceramic bottom of a mug producing the sound of a fart as it scrapes against a sturdy news desk just did not seem feasible to the Twitter commentariat. 

“A farting coffee mug? Well that’s a new one. When I scrape my mug across the desk it sounds like a mug scraping across the desk,” Will Donnelly tweeted. 

Donelly also conducted a Twitter poll, which received 3,322 votes, asking users who they believe dealt it. 54 percent believed it was Swalwell, 31 percent Matthews, only 15 percent of users polled bought the coffee mug story. 

But Rep. Swalwell still claimed complete and total exoneration.

After Hardball’s tweet, the Democratic representative who is on the House Intelligence Committee and playing a role in the impeachment hearings took to Twitter to mock Trump and also claim victory. 

“TOTAL EXONERATION!” He tweeted — the same words Trump used after the release of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report. 

We may never know the truth about #Fartgate and that is so 2019. 

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