Debate crowd breaks into laughter after hot mic snafu

The crowd at the first 2020 Democratic presidential primary debate on Wednesday night broke into laughter during an awkward technical glitch that resulted in some NBC moderators' microphones being left on while they were backstage.

As candidates were asked a question about gun control from NBC's Chuck ToddCharles (Chuck) David ToddRand Paul calls for probe of Democrats over Ukraine letter White House officials stand by Syria withdrawal, sanctions delay amid bipartisan pushback Sunday shows — Officials rush to Trump's defense on Syria, sanctions MORE, the previous moderators could be heard in the background saying, "I need to go to the restroom" and "Someone's got my binder." 

ADVERTISEMENT

The candidates, Todd and fellow moderator Rachel MaddowRachel Anne MaddowKrystal Ball dismisses Ukraine scandal as 'manufactured drama' Rachel Maddow signs onto 'Batwoman' TV series Whistleblowers and the hypocrisy of the ruling class MORE briefly appeared confused as the comments were broadcast over the speakers in the entire arena before realizing it was a hot mic issue.

"We are hearing our colleagues' audio. If the control room could turn off the mics of our previous moderators," Todd said while laughing.

After he explained the issue, the entire arena, including the candidates, broke into laughter.

"We prepared for everything. We did not prepare for this," Maddow chimed in before the debate cut to a commercial break while the technical issue was sorted out.

The issue was quickly fixed, and the debate continued, but social media users quickly jumped on the mistake, which marked a lighter moment in the midst of some more heated policy discussions. 

The issue was also noticed by President TrumpDonald John TrumpDemocratic senator rips Trump's 'let them fight' remarks: 'Enough is enough' Warren warns Facebook may help reelect Trump 'and profit off of it' Trump touts Turkey cease-fire: 'Sometimes you have to let them fight' MORE, who ripped it as evidence that NBC is a "fake news organization."