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 ToddShepard Smith talking to MSNBC about prime-time spot as network eyes Chuck Todd move: report Administration officials defend Trump claims, Soleimani intelligence as senators push back on briefing Sunday shows - Administration officials grilled on Trump's Iran claims MORE, the previous moderators could be heard in the background saying, "I need to go to the restroom" and "Someone's got my binder." 


The candidates, Todd and fellow moderator Rachel MaddowRachel Anne MaddowDems plan marathon prep for Senate trial, wary of Trump trying to 'game' the process House Democrats release second batch of Parnas materials Pompeo to investigate charges of surveillance against Yovanovitch 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 TrumpNational Archives says it altered Trump signs, other messages in Women's March photo Dems plan marathon prep for Senate trial, wary of Trump trying to 'game' the process Democratic lawmaker dismisses GOP lawsuit threat: 'Take your letter and shove it' MORE, who ripped it as evidence that NBC is a "fake news organization."