Congressman Eric Swalwell sparked a firestorm of controversy after a giant eruption during his interview with Chris Matthews led many to believe the politician may need to change his pants.
The Democratic representative from California appeared Monday night on MSNBC's "Hardball" with Chris Matthews to talk about the ongoing impeachment hearings and all things Ukraine. "So far, the evidence is uncontradicted that the president used taxpayer dollars to ask the Ukrainians to help him cheat an election," Swalwell explained. He then appeared to slightly clench before a sound erupted that bared a similarity to a fart.
It wasn't just a little toot either ... there was some definite oomph behind it. The congressman kept on talking like nothing had happened though, and controversy erupted over whether Swalwell or Chris Matthews was responsible for the noise. Fans took to Twitter and immediately labeled the incident #FartGate and began dissecting the clip to prove their case. One person even put an infrared filter over the video which showed a giant gaseous cloud surround Swalwell ... however, the legitimacy of the filter is suspect.
After #FartGate continued to swell, "Hardball" decided to jump in and defend Congressman Swalwell. The show tweeted out that it was not actually a fart, but rather a "Hardball" mug being scraped across the glass desk that caused the hilarious noise.
"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!"
They also used it as a chance to hawk the mug, which sells for a whopping $16.95 for an 11oz mug and $18.95 for a 15oz mug.
Fans aren't exactly buying the excuse though, and one person even tried to replicate the noise with their own mug, although it must be pointed out that it wasn't an official "Hardball" one.
Swalwell Denies It
After "Hardball" came up with the mug excuse, Representative Swalwell jumped on the opportunity and tweeted out, "TOTAL EXONERATION!" He even received the support of presidential hopeful Andrew Yang, who commented "I believe in Eric Swalwell."
Chrissy Teigen, who is known to jump into a good political Twitter war, weighed in after the mug excuse went wide and begged, "no it's a fart don't ruin this." However, Swalwell quote tweeted her and responded, "This, too, shall pass..." Well played.
Was It Chris Matthews?
"Of all the sounds on Earth, it was the least like a mug on a desk," another person commented. "Yeah?... Can we get you to replicate that sound live on tomorrow's Hardball?" one other fan challenged.
Some fans think the coverup from "Hardball" is because Chris Matthews is the one who supplied it. The TV host apparently has a history of suspect noises, so fans think this fits the bill.
"We have to find out immediately if this was swalwell or chris matthews. the slight pause in his speech suggests that it’s swalwell, but it sounds like an old man fart through and through," a fan wrote on Twitter.
The real answer is still up in the air ... but something definitely smells fishy.