Eric Swalwell weathers first ‘scandal’ of likely presidential bid after snowy tweet

‘That’s why I love Twitter,’ California congressman says after getting schooled

Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., participates in a press conference with House Judiciary Committee Democrats to announce new legislation to protect Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation on Thursday, April 12, 2018. (CQ Roll Call)
Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., participates in a press conference with House Judiciary Committee Democrats to announce new legislation to protect Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation on Thursday, April 12, 2018. (CQ Roll Call)
Posted February 26, 2019 at 8:31am

Rep. Eric Swalwell has weathered the first scandal of his nascent presidential bid.

Swalwell tweeted about trudging in snowy weather past Trump Tower last week and finding a good cup of coffee elsewhere in Manhattan.

“It’s snowing in [New York]. I need coffee. The closest cafe is inside Trump Tower. This is me walking to an alternative,” Swalwell tweeted.

Swalwell’s tweet received thousands of replies, many from supporters of President Donald Trump pointing out there are plenty of alternative coffee shops on that block and taunting the California Democrat for his faux bravery.

“I was rightfully skilled about that on Twitter and that’s why I love Twitter,” Swalwell said in an interview Monday with Fox News. “Sometimes it’s just a cathartic place to go, where you can dish it out and you better be able to take it and just move on to the next tweet.”

“Didn’t know Manhattan very well. Apparently there’s like a hundred coffee shops within reach,” Swalwell said.

The former county prosecutor has all but confirmed his plans to enter the 2020 race. He spoke with reporters  at “Politics and Eggs,” a traditional stop for presidential hopefuls in the first-in-the-nation primary state of New Hampshire. Those ambitions have made him a target of pre-emptive attacks from the right.

He described his perspective as “unique,” emphasizing that he still holds college debt and has two young children, and pushed back on perceptions that he would only be entering the race in order to advance his profile.

“I’m doing this because I think I can win. Not to sell a book, not for any other job,” Swalwell said.

Swalwell has made a handful of trips to New Hampshire and has visited Iowa, home to another early presidential test, more than a dozen times over the span of two years, according to Politico.

In his roles on the House Intelligence and Judiciary committees, Swalwell has become a leading antagonist of the Trump administration on alleged collusion between the campaign and Russia during the 2016 election. 

Swalwell offered his prediction for how the investigation will unfold ahead of congressional testimony by the president’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen before the House Oversight and Reform Committee Wednesday. Cohen will testify again behind closed doors before the House Intelligence Committee Thursday.

“I expect you’re going to see that there has been criminal conduct by the administration to obstruct and keep the investigators from finding out what happened,” he said. “When it comes to collusion, I don’t know.”

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