Former FBI Director James Comey, who you're probably tired of hearing about, testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday morning. One of the most bizarre parts of an already intriguing story was Senator John McCain's exchange with Comey—an exchange that made literally no sense. Sen. McCain seemed to focus his line of questioning on former Secretary Hillary Clinton, and why she has not been investigated as well with regards to Russia. But it was hard to tell if this was really his point, as you can see in the video below.
— Hollywood Reporter (@THR) June 8, 2017
McCain seemed very confused about why Clinton's investigation has ended but "Trump's investigation" is ongoing. The cry of "but her emails!" lives on, even during testimony that isn't about Clinton at all.
Comey stressed that the investigation into Clinton's emails had been closed, and that Clinton would not be charged. In reference to the Russia investigation, however, Comey said "the investigation was still going when I was fired," and that as far as he knows, "it is still going." Note that the Clinton email investigation and the Russia investigation are not at all related—which Sen. McCain couldn't seem to get.
With obvious attitude, Sen. McCain replied, "I'm glad that you completed that part of the investigation, but the American people have a whole lot of questions since you just emphasized the role the Russia played," referencing the Russia investigation. It was unclear if he understood that the Russia investigation is about the election as a whole, not just about Trump. He also didn't seem to get that it would be very unlikely for Clinton to help the Russians sabotage her own presidential run, which is why she's not a focus of the investigation.
"In other words, we’re complete, the investigation of anything former Secretary Clinton had to do with the campaign is over, and we don’t have to worry about it anymore?” Sen. McCain asked.
Um...the investigation was about the use of a private email server when she was secretary of state, not when she was a presidential canddiate. What is he talking about? Comey didn't seem to know, saying, "I'm a little confused, Senator."
"So both President Trump, and former candidate Clinton are both involved in the investigation, yet one of them, you said, there's gonna be no charges and one of them the investigation continues. I think there's a double standard here," Sen. McCain said. But there really isn't a double standard...because the two candidates were involved in two completely different investigations. Sen. McCain just seems very, very confused, and Twitter definitely took notice.
This is sad.
McCain can't distinguish between the Clinton email investigation and Trump/Russia investigation.pic.twitter.com/NtWrHnZH9X
— Mikel Jollett (@Mikel_Jollett) June 8, 2017
I bet "covfefe" made perfect sense to John McCain.
— andy lassner (@andylassner) June 8, 2017
The World: "It is officially impossible for any of this to make less sense than it does now."
McCain: "Hold my alligator."
— Jack Dire (@luckyshirt) June 8, 2017
I don't know what was up with John McCain but I'm pretty sure Hillary Clinton didn't collude with the Russians to hack herself & elect Trump
— Brian Klaas (@brianklaas) June 8, 2017
But now, Sen. McCain has issued a statement explaining that his questions just "went over people's heads," and that he "shouldn't stay up late watching the Diamondbacks night games." What he wanted to do, he said, was to point out that during the Clinton investigation, Comey stepped outside the usual boundaries of his job to say that "no reasonable prosecutor" would choose to charge her. Because of this precedent, McCain thought Comey should also be able to say whether Trump's actions could be seen as obstruction of justice.
McCain issues a statement on his hearing questions, suggests he shouldn't "stay up late watching Diamondbacks night games"pic.twitter.com/09sSpT0Vcn
— Jeremy Herb (@jeremyherb) June 8, 2017
Well, maybe that's what he meant to say, but that's not how his questioning came out at all—and it kind of seemed like more was going on than just being tired from a late-night baseball game. Hopefully McCain gets some rest before his next moment in the spotlight.