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“After years of lying about me and my family, Tucker Carlson 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?” Mr Swalwell tweeted along with a screenshot of an apparent text conversation that appeared to show Mr Carlson writing: “Eric, it’s Tucker Carlson. Please give me a call on this number.”
“Tucker, I’m hesitant to do that,” Mr Swalwell responds. “You falsely smeared my wife on Tuesday and she’s getting death threats. That’s way out of bounds.”
“She’s a pregnant mom of a four-year-old and a two-year-old,” Mr Swalwell adds in a second message. “Hit me all you like. But to go after her. That’s just wrong.”
A second screenshot included in the tweet by Mr Swalwell shows that he missed or skipped a call from Mr Carlson at 4.11pm.
Mr Carlson offered a succinct response to Mr Swalwell’s texts and refusal to take his call, simply writing: “Coward.”
On Tuesday, Mr Carlson spent part of his programme speaking about Mr Swalwell’s and his campaign spending.
“Swalwell has a problem with money,” Mr Carlson said.
“More than $20,000 of Eric Swalwell’s campaign expenditures went to the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Half Moon Bay, California. Now, weirdly or maybe not so weirdly, Eric Swalwell’s wife is an executive at that very hotel,” the Fox News host added.
According to her no longer public LinkedIn page, Brittany Swalwell stopped working at the hotel in December 2019.
Mr Carlson also brought up Mr Swalwell’s connection to a Chinese spy. In December, Axios reported that Mr Swalwell had become close to a woman who turned out to be a Chinese intelligence agent in 2014. He was informed by the FBI who she was and that he was a target. Mr Swalwell ended his connection to the woman and has not been accused of any wrongdoing.
“Rep Swalwell, long ago, provided information about this person – whom he met more than eight years ago, and whom he hasn’t seen in nearly six years – to the FBI,” the office of Mr Swalwell told Axios in December. “To protect information that might be classified, he will not participate in your story.”
The Independent has reached out to Fox News and the office of Mr Swalwell for comment.