Why did Tucker Carlson call Eric Swalwell a coward? CA Rep reveals shocking exchange

Democratic Rep screenshots text exchange between himself and Carlson, leading to #TuckerTantrum trending on Twitter as users trolled the Fox News host

                            Why did Tucker Carlson call Eric Swalwell a coward? CA Rep reveals shocking exchange
CA Rep Eric Swalwell (congress.gov via Getty Images) with an insert of Tucker Carlson (Phillip Faraone/Getty Images)

Fox News host Tucker Carlson finds himself, yet again, in the spotlight. Twitter users have begun trending the hashtag #TuckerTantrum and trolling the conservative host after a tweet by California Rep Eric Swalwell. The tweet appears to be a continuation of the long feud between the two men, which recently went up a notch. Swalwell happily shared a text exchange he had with Carlson and let Twitter take over. 

Carlson has found himself increasingly being targeted for his controversial and sometimes outright false comments on Fox News. In March, the Pentagon slammed Carlson after he called accommodations for female service members a "mockery of the US military". Then in May, Joy-Anne Reid nicknamed Carlson as "Tuckums" after she ripped him apart in a segment on MSNBC after Carlson referred to her as "the race lady". In November 2020, he was forced to issue a rare on-air apology for claiming dead people were voting in Georgia, which a local station debunked. 


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Nonetheless, Carlson continues to spew dangerous anti-vax comments and argue against urgently-needed legislation. Some Democrats, like RepAlexandria Ocasio-Cortez, have chosen to hit back, while others have maintained silence. Swalwell decided to take the former route on July 23, publicly shaming Carlson after he called the Congressman a "coward". 

Eric Swalwell questions Gordon Sondland, the U.S ambassador to the European Union, during a hearing before the House Intelligence Committee on November 20, 2019, in Washington, DC. (Samuel Corum - Pool/Getty Images)


Why did Carlson call Swalwell a coward?

Around 4 pm on July 23, Carlson texted Swalwell, "Eric, it's Tucker Carlson. Please give me a call on this number." To that, Swalwell replied he was "hesitant" to do that because of the death threats Swalwell's wife was getting. "That's way out of bounds," he said, and added, "hit me all you like. But to go after her. That's just wrong." Carlson then replied with just one word - "coward". Another screenshot shows Carlson later attempted to call Swalwell, at around 4:11 pm, but Swalwell never picked up. 

The Congressman published the screenshots on Twitter and said, "After years of lying about me and my family, @TuckerCarlson is losing his mind that I won’t return his calls. Sorry, Tucker, I’m just not that into you. Who knows what lie he’ll tell next? #TuckerTantrum." That set of a huge cascade of tweets in response, with many users using the same hashtag to troll Carlson.



As the screenshots show, Swalwell also told Carlson about the death threats his family was getting. Those threats began to emerge in February 2021, after Carlson called Swalwell a "not-very-bright third-string Democratic Congressman" and accused him of having sex with a Chinese spy. Those comments were made after an Axios report emerged indicating the spy (named Fang Fang) had developed extensive ties with local and national politicians, including Swalwell back in 2014. 

If you want to see the whole segment, one user has considerately uploaded it on Twitter with the tweet, "Just dropping this here … Tucker’s recent coverage of the Swalwell sleeping with a Chinese spy scandal."



As you can see, Tucker goes about in his typically bombastic style making several accusations against Swalwell, that quickly rallied conservative supporters to harass the Congressman. Despite being cleared of wrongdoing by the FBI over six years ago, Swalwell and his family continued to receive death threats after Carlson dragged up the allegations again. 

'That *ucker is having a serious #TuckerTantrum.'

Swalwell's tweet instantly went viral, and many users gave Carlson a good virtual beat down. "Personally I think Eric Swalwell should let Carlson’s number “slip” out. Many of us would love to talk to him," one person said. Another tweeted, "Swalwell is all class, Carlson is all ass." One user commented, "The irony of @TuckerCarlson calling Swalwell a coward while hiding behind text messages and private phone calls to try and fix his mess lol."





"#TuckerTantrum is pathetic and embarrassing to watch," one person commented. Another said, "BRAVO to Rep. Eric Swalwell for putting slimy POS coward Tucker Carlson in his place. That *ucker is having a serious #TuckerTantrum." Another user joked, "Tucker: If you don't return my call that's a violation of my HIPAA rights."





One person replied, "Tucker Carlson calling someone a coward is like Winnie the Pooh going off on someone for being a honey-addicted bear." Another person tweeted, "I am blown away by his use of the word "coward" under those circumstances."




It's unclear why Carlson reached out to Swalwell on July 23, months after he first aired the segment targeting the Congressman. Unfortunately, it's not likely we will know more until Carlson chooses to address the matter, or Swalwell does.