Arizona Senator John McCain appeared confused during the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing with former FBI Director James Comey on Thursday. At one point, the 80-year-old McCain referred to President Donald Trump as “Mr. Comey” and even said “President Comey.” McCain was asking Comey about his handling of Trump compared to his handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server for official Secretary of State business. You can watch the video below.
McCain’s line of questioning was met with raised eyebrows from viewers as he shared half-formed thoughts and irrelevant details. He started off by seemingly condemning Comey’s choice not to recommend criminal charges against Clinton. McCain tried to ask why he reached a conclusion in the Clinton case, but not in the investigation into Trump’s campaign.
Comey countered that the Clinton investigation was completed while the Trump case still ongoing. He said the two cases are not comparable.
McCain then again asked about the Clinton investigation. Comey emphasized that as of July 5, 2016, the Clinton case is closed. So when Comey came forward and announced that the FBI wouldn’t be recommending criminal charges against Clinton, the FBI investigation was already completed. But McCain said that there were “a whole lot of questions remaining about what went on, particularly considering the fact that, as you mentioned, it was a ‘big deal’ as to what went on during the campaign.”
McCain continued before Comey said he was “confused” by where McCain was headed. Comey explained that the FBI’s criminal investigation into Clinton was about her private email server and wasn’t related to Russia or any other foreign concerns. McCain responded that he couldn’t understand how Comey could conclude the investigation, but not have reached a conclusion into Russia’s alleged interference with the election.
“When I was fired on May the 9th, there was still an open and active investigation to understand the Russian efforts and whether any Americans worked with them,” Comey said until McCain interrupted, again returning to Comey’s conclusion in the Clinton case. At this point, McCain accidentally called Comey “president Comey.”
Comey tried to stress that the Russian investigation is still ongoing to his best knowledge, but McCain continued to cylce back to the Clinton case being a “big deal.” Florida Senator Marco Rubio later commented that he “didn’t follow that line of questioning very well.”