Delaware Senator Tom Carper was caught uttering a series of expletives to an aide as he struggled to unmute himself during a widely-watched U.S. Postal Service hearing on Friday, an unintentional window into one of the shortcomings of virtual pandemic-era meetings.
Carper, a Democrat, was in line to question Postmaster General Louis DeJoy but was not heard by committee chairman Ron Johnson, who then sought to move on to the next questioner.
Carper than uttered three f-bombs, prompting Senator James Lankford to say “Mr. Chairman, I think Senator Carper is there, I think he’s trying to be able to queue it all up right now.”
Johnson then called on Carper and appeared to allude to Carper’s comments: “We don’t want to be on TV again.”
Carper then proceeded with his questions.
A spokeswoman for Carper said he “got frustrated with technical difficulties this morning, but that pales in comparison to his frustration with a Postmaster General who’s actively undermining the U.S. Postal Service during a national crisis.”
Amid the coronavirus pandemic, many U.S. governmental meetings and speeches have been conducted remotely and a number of unfortunate moments or technical woes have been captured.
A toilet flushed during a Supreme Court argument, while others have been caught swearing.
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer mouthed an expletive on a live feed before she spoke before the Democratic National Committee earlier this week.