Swalwell posted screenshots of his texts with Carlson on Twitter so his followers could get in on the action.
According to the screenshots, after Carlson told the lawmaker to call, the Swalwell responded that he wasn’t comfortable getting involved in what he predicted could quickly dissolve into an off-the-rails attack.
“You falsely smeared my wife on Tuesday and she’s getting death threats. That’s way out of bounds,” Swalwell texted. “She’s a pregnant mom of a 4 year old and a 2 year old. Hit me all you like. But to go after her. That’s just wrong.”
Carlson snapped back at Swalwell with a single angry word: “Coward” — and then called him anyway.
Swalwell didn’t answer, nor did he return his calls, and Carlson was “losing his mind,” the lawmaker tweeted.
Swalwell goofed on Twitter to Carlson: “Sorry, Tucker, I’m just not that into you” — then launched the hashtag “TuckerTantrum.”
Twitter followers loved it.
Earlier this week, Carlson aired a segment attacking Swalwell, noting that his campaign spent $20,000 at a Ritz Carlton Hotel in Half Moon Bay, California, where Swalwell’s wife “used to work” (an earlier version of the Fox story forgot to mention she was no longer an employee of the hotel).
Carlson has in the past also accused Swalwell of sleeping with a Chinese spy. Axios reported last year that a Chinese spy had gotten close to Swalwell in 2014 before he was informed by the FBI who she was. Swalwell reportedly immediately cut ties with the woman and was not accused of any wrongdoing.