Viral MSNBC interview sparks #FartGate: Here's how everyone's responding

California Rep. Eric Swalwell might regret appearing on "Hardball with Chris Matthews" this week after his interview on the MSNBC show went viral for all the wrong reasons.

Swalwell, 39, appeared on Monday's episode to debate whether or not President Trump used taxpayer dollars to cheat in the election, but midway through one of his statements, a loud farting noise interrupted the broadcast.

"Chris, so far the evidence is uncontradicted that the president used taxpayer dollars to help him cheat…" he said, before the erroneous noise was heard. "...an election. And the complaint that I’ve heard from Republicans..."

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The breakout clip quickly started to make the rounds on social media, with viewers weighing in on where they think the noise came from.

"The slight pause as he realizes he can't hold it in any longer is pure gold," one person wrote

"Eric Swalwell finally passed something in the halls of Congress..." another person joked.

Others weren't convinced that it was Swalwell who was responsible for the alleged fart.

"No way he farted so incredibly loud on camera," someone else said.

"It was 100% Chris Matthews," a subsequent user theorized.

Once the clip had spread, BuzzFeed reporter Addy Baird decided to reach out to the parties involved, and texted Swalwell the clip, saying, "I'm really sorry about this but I have to ask if this was you or someone in the studio."

Perhaps unexpectedly, he quickly denied that he was responsible for the noise in a series of texts, "It was not me!!!!! Ha. I didn't hear it when I was speaking."

When Baird told him that it looked "like you heart it and are stifling a laugh," he responded that, "I def did not hear it."

He later conceded that "it's funny tho."

 

The official "Hardball with Chris Matthews" Twitter account also weighed in on the viral clip, blaming the noise on one of the show's official mugs being dragged across a desk.

"Sorry to disappoint the conspiracy theorists - it was the #hardball mug scraping across the desk," the tweet said, along with a link to the mug on the MSNBC online store. "Get yours today and let’s get back to the news!"

 

Followers didn't exactly believe the explanation, calling them "liars" and reacting with sarcastic gifs.

 

While #FartGate may never be solved, we're sure that Swalwell, who has served as the U.S. Representative for California's 15th congressional district since 2013, has more important things to worry about.

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