Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainVirginia race looms as dark cloud over Biden's agenda Sinema's no Manchin, no McCain and no maverick Progressives say go big and make life hard for GOP 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.
Top 3 awkward moments— Dan Diamond (@ddiamond) June 8, 2017
3—When Feinstein called Comey “big and strong”
2—When McCain spoke
1—When ex-FBI head repeatedly said president lied
McCain's incoherence would be *slightly* more understandable if he were wrestling w/new info. But Comey released his remarks 24 hrs ago.— Caroline O. (@RVAwonk) June 8, 2017
Watching #ComeyTestimony. Feeling better about the health of our democracy but concerned about the health of Sen. John McCain.— Tom Bergeron (@Tom_Bergeron) June 8, 2017
Crowd here at Duffy's now booing Sen. McCain.— Samantha-Jo Roth (@SamanthaJoRoth) June 8, 2017
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.
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.
“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.