Snopes ‘Fact-Check’ on Swalwell Nuke Comments: He Was Just Joking!

One of the internet’s arbiters of truth, Snopes, went to bat for Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) after the Congressman lit the internet on fire Friday night by suggesting that a civil war would be short because the government “has nukes.”

“Did Democrat Rep. Eric Swalwell ‘Suggest Nuking’ Gun Owners Who Resist Confiscation?” the Snopes headline asked.

According to the bogus site, “fact-checking” site, that claim is a “mixture” of truth and falsehood. Swalwell did not suggesting using nukes against Americans because his statement was “was intended as no more than a joke,” the site said.

In case you missed it, Big League Politics reported on Swalwell’s comments:

File this under “poor gun control messaging.”

In a Friday Tweet, Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) set the internet on fire by insinuating that the federal government would use nuclear weapons against citizens who rebelled against it.

In May, NBC reported that Swalwell proposed a gun buyback that would force Americans to sell semiautomatic rifles to the government or face prosecution. Newsmax host John Cardillo shared the article on Friday, prompting combat veteran and right wing commentator Joe Biggs to claim that a civil war would break out if the federal government actually tried to confiscate weapons.

“So basically @RepSwalwell wants a war. Because that’s what you would get. You’re outta your f****** mind if you think I’ll give up my rights and give the gov all the power,” Biggs said.

“And it would be a short war my friend. The government has nukes. Too many of them. But they’re legit. I’m sure if we talked we could find common ground to protect our families and communities,” Swalwell said.


Ironically, Swalwell made the perfect argument for never giving up your Second Amendment rights to the federal government. In effect, he said “You can trust the government not to hurt you if you hand over your weapons, but if you don’t hand over your weapons, the government will use physical force against you” – which is exactly what we’re worried about.

Big League Politics reached out to Snopes founder David Mikkelson to see whether the “I was just joking” defense would work in the case of any potentially non-factual statement. He did not immediately respond to the request for comment.

Swalwell, for his part, touted the “fact-check” as total vindication on his Twitter account:

“Well this should end the faux-outrage from gun groups. DEBUNKS and others who claimed I made serious threat to nuke gun-owners. Let’s move on to what really matters: ensuring our right to be safe is paramount,” he said.

He was roundly rebuked by Twitter users for this boneheaded assertion, considering that Snopes’ reputation.

Here is our interview with citizen journalist, Staff Sergeant Joe Biggs, who was integrally involved in the conversation that led to Swalwell’s ludicrous remark:

Our Latest Articles