Rep. Eric Swalwell faced a dilemma Wednesday afternoon. As he trudged past Trump Tower, he wondered where else he could get a good cup of coffee 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.
There are a lot of alternatives.
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. The former county prosecutor makes frequent appearances on cable news to discuss the subject.
Swalwell’s tweet received more than 32,000 replies as of Thursday morning, many from supporters of President Donald Trump taunting the California Democrat for his faux bravery.
Conservative media personality Laura Ingraham seized the opportunity to mock him.
Since you’ve been operating in “alternative” universe for years, this should be easy for you. (Try the Russian Tea Room—maybe you’ll finally find your collusion.) https://t.co/GB2YM2TGOT
— Laura Ingraham (@IngrahamAngle) February 20, 2019
Swalwell hopes to leverage his amplified profile into a presidential run, and has all but confirmed his plans, which has made him a target of pre-emptive attacks from the right.
“I’m getting pretty close,” Swalwell said in a CNN interview last week. “We got a team down in Iowa. I see all green lights ahead. I’m encouraged because I think the country wants someone who is going to go big, go bold, and do good. I’m excited to offer that vision.”
Presumably he’ll have a campaign team that will advise him against trying to make a statement like Wednesday’s.
— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) February 20, 2019
Where will you possibly find coffee in New York City? pic.twitter.com/kcecq5dcSx
— Vince Coglianese (@TheDCVince) February 20, 2019
Live feed of Swalwell crossing the street for anti-Trump coffee pic.twitter.com/k7YaC8WagN
— Eddie Zipperer (@EddieZipperer) February 20, 2019