US politician appears to let out insanely loud fart on TV while discussing Trump impeachment

He really dropped a bomb on the Trump impeachment inquiry.

Jane Zhang| November 19, 08:23 PM

Politics in the U.S. are often rife with tension, especially with the current impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump.

And one Congressman apparently let out this tension in an unexpected way.

The (alleged) fart heard around the world

On the morning of Tuesday, Nov. 19 (Singapore time), Twitter user Andrew Lawrence (@ndrew_lawrence) posted a five second video clip of Eric Swalwell, a Democratic Congressman for California, speaking on MSNBC show Hardball with the caption “OMFG SOUND ON.”

The clip posted on Twitter by Lawrence was a segment of Swalwell’s commentary on the impeachment inquiry:

“So far, the evidence is uncontradicted that the President used taxpayer dollars to ask the Ukrainians to help him cheat an election.”

There is a slight pause between the words “cheat” and “an election,” during which there is a noticeably distinct noise that sounds similar to flatulence.

Swalwell denies being the culprit

Addy Baird, a reporter for Buzzfeed News, tweeted a series of three screenshots of messages between herself and Swalwell immediately after the interview that shed some light on the situation.

The messages are below:

screenshot of messages between addy baird and eric swalwell Image from @addysue Twitter

screenshot of messages between addy baird and eric swalwell Image from @addysue Twitter

screenshot of messages between addy baird and eric swalwell Image from @addysue Twitter

In his replies to Baird’s messages, Swalwell wrote:

“It was not me!!!!!”

He also claimed that he did not hear the sound while he was speaking.

He seemed to be amused by it, though, saying:

“It’s funny tho.”

The Hardball Twitter account chimed in with its explanation of the sound: a mug being dragged across the table.

Their explanation was also a convenient opportunity to plug their merchandise.

Public response

In the hours following the interview, Twitter users have become overwhelmed with curiosity around the alleged on-air fart, even going so far as to dub it “fartgate.”

“#fartgate” was the number two trending topic on Twitter worldwide for several hours on Tuesday, and was still the number one trending topic in the U.S. at the time of writing, with more than 123,000 tweets about it.

screenshot of Twitter explore page number 1 trending fartgate Screenshot from Twitter Explore page

Twitter users rallied around the topic, eager to offer their own clever commentary on the situation:

Fart skeptics

Not all were convinced by the popular opinion that Swalwell was behind the alleged fart, however.

American music critic Anthony Fantano, whose Twitter name is currently #1 Fartgate Investigator, shared his expert opinion on the issue:

Political commentator and television host Sarah Elizabeth Cupp also tweeted her skepticism, throwing in her theory that the fart belonged to someone else:

Response by Swalwell

At the time of writing, Swalwell has only made one statement in reference to the “fartgate” scandal, with a short two-word tweet:

He also retweeted a tweet by 2020 Presidential candidate Andrew Yang, in which Yang chimed in his support for Swalwell:

As political tensions in the U.S. continue to run high, fartgate has been perhaps the momentary mental respite that people needed before diving back into the tug-of-war between Democrats and Republicans in the process of the impeachment hearings.

Read more about the impeachment inquiry, which was launched in September:

Top image via Twitter and MSNBC website