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Democratic senator swears on-air at Postal Service hearing: 'F---, f---, f---'

Sen. Tom CarperThomas (Tom) Richard CarperOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Democrats allege EPA plans to withhold funding from 'anarchist' cities | Montana asks court to throw out major public lands decisions after ousting BLM director | It's unknown if fee reductions given to oil producers prevented shutdowns Democrats allege EPA plans to withhold funding from 'anarchist' cities Energy innovation bill can deliver jobs and climate progress MORE (D-Del.) swore on-air after an apparent glitch during a Senate virtual hearing Friday on the Postal Service threatened to prevent him from joining the hearing.

The episode began when Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonSunday shows preview: Coronavirus cases surge in the Midwest; Trump hits campaign trail after COVID-19 Cuomo signs legislation declaring Juneteenth an official holiday in New York Trailing in polls, Trump campaign resurrects Hunter Biden attacks MORE (R-Wis.) invited Carper to speak. 

"Sen. Carper," he said, to silence, as the camera stayed on Johnson. "Is Sen. Carper there?"

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"Sen. [James] Lankford," Johnson then said, seeking to move on.

"F---, f---, f---," Carper then could be heard saying as the camera was suddenly on his office.

Carper appeared to be speaking to an aide, who then leaned into the screen.

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"Senator, I think Sen. Carper is there," Lankford (R-Okla.) then said, signaling Carper would be able to speak. 

"Sen. Carper can you unmute?" a seemingly amused Johnson then said as it became clear that Carper would be able to join the hearing and question Postmaster General Louis DeJoyLouis DeJoyPostal service reversing changes that slowed mail delivery The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Trump, Biden set for dueling town halls amid battleground blitz High-speed mail sorting machine reassembled in Maine MORE.

"We don't want to be on TV again," said a smiling Johnson, the chairman of the panel.

Carper then went into his questioning. 

Virtual hearings have become regular in Washington to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, forcing lawmakers to take part in hearings from offices around the country. 

Carper later seemed to address the incident in a message on Twitter, writing that he gets "fired up" over the Postal Service, which has been at the center of a political storm amid slowdowns and fears this could hurt the ability of Americans to vote by mail this November.