McCain's Bizarre Comey Questions Clearly Confused Other Senators

by Kelly Tunney

James Comey's Senate hearing on Thursday turned out to be as revealing — and as long — as expected. Throughout the Q&A, the former FBI director revealed many remarkable details about his interactions with President Donald Trump. But by the second hour mark some senators, it seemed, had little patience left for Sen. John McCain's exchange with Comey.

The Arizona senator's bizarre line of questioning apparently left some of this colleagues confused. McCain asked Comey why the FBI had concluded the investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's private email server, and yet was still investigating the Trump administration in regard to Russia. But what came out was a confusing mess about Clinton and Russia, with McCain even accidentally saying "President Comey" at one point.

“I think it's hard to reconcile, in one case you reach a complete conclusion, and on the other side you have not. I think that's a double standard there, to tell you the truth," McCain said.

Honestly, it wasn't terribly difficult to reconcile the two investigations, since they are unrelated cases. While answering McCain's questions, Comey appeared confused, and at one point he admitted so. But he wasn't the only one. Photos of senators at the hearing taken while McCain was speaking have been coming out, and they reflect the bizarre situation quite well.

Notably, Sen. Marco Rubio looked downright tired of all of it as he listened to McCain while slouching on one arm. But others, like Sen. Dianne Feinstein, looked taken aback or concerned about McCain's questions.

McCain later released a statement following the hearing to clear up the confusion up:

I get the sense from Twitter that my line of questioning today went over people's heads. Maybe going forward I shouldn't stay up late watching the Diamondbacks night games. What I was trying to get at was whether Mr. Comey believes that any of his interactions with the President rise to the level of obstruction of justice. In the case of Secretary Clinton’s emails, Mr. Comey was willing to step beyond his role as an investigator and state his belief about what ‘no reasonable prosecutor’ would conclude about the evidence. I wanted Mr. Comey to apply the same approach to the key question surrounding his interactions with President Trump—whether or not the President’s conduct constitutes obstruction of justice. While I missed an opportunity in today’s hearing, I still believe this question is important, and I intend to submit it in writing to Mr. Comey for the record.

Thankfully, this sorts out a bit of what McCain was getting at, but it was still pretty entertaining to watch him confuse half the Senate — as well as many viewers.