Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainPence, Pompeo urged Trump to clarify Russia remarks: report GOP lawmaker renews call for Trump to release tax returns after Putin summit House conservatives criticize media, not Trump, for Putin furor MORE (R-Ariz.) garnered attention Thursday after he pursued what many saw as an odd line of questioning during former FBI Director James Comey’s hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee.

McCain appeared to conflate the FBI's ongoing investigation into Russian election meddling with the now-closed probe into Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server, prompting swift reaction on social media.

 

 

  

 

 

  

 

McCain asked about Comey’s reasoning regarding the end of the FBI probe into Clinton's email server, and asked the ex-FBI head to compare his conclusions about the Clinton email investigation to the probe into Russian election meddling.

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Comey said the difference was the Russia investigation was on-going and the Clinton investigation wrapped up in June.

“You're gonna have to help me out here,” the senator said. “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’s line of questioning came as surprise to many watching the hearing, given his hawkish stance on Russia and his harsh criticism of the president. 

Shortly after the hearing wrapped up McCain appeared on CNN to clarify his line of questioning. 

He also released a statment that said, “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," he added.