John McCain Made No Sense at the Comey Hearing and Everyone Is Worried About Him
It might be time for a vacation, Senator. Have you considered the lovely town of Retirement?
“Maverick” Republican John McCain, who had led a long and distinguished Senate career but will also be remembered for introducing Sarah Palin into national politics, seems like he needs a nap—or that he was just waking up for one.
As the last Senator to question ex-FBI director James Comey at the bombshell Senate Intelligence Committee hearing, McCain appeared confused, bordering on incoherent, and kept returning to the closed FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server, which he conflated with the Russiagate shenanigans. At one point he called Comey “President Comey.”
Here’s a sampling of what McCain said to kick off his allotted question time: “In the case of Hillary Clinton, you made the statement that there wasn’t sufficient evidence to bring a suit against her, although it had been very careless in their behavior, but you did reach a conclusion in that case that it was not necessary to further pursue her. Yet at the same time, in the case of Mr. [Trump], you said that there was not enough information to make a conclusion. Tell me the difference between your conclusion as far as former secretary Clinton is concerned, and Mr. Trump.” (via WaPo)
If you have trouble tracking this, and get the impression that McCain is dangerously lost about the difference between Hillary Clinton’s email and Russian electoral intereference, you are not alone. Listen, I used to get pretty perfect reading comprehension scores and I’m having trouble making it through these transcripts.
To say the Internet took notice immediately is an understatement. Within seconds of McCain’s rambling start, my Twitter feed was full of people wondering after the Senator’s health.
What…is John McCain talking about? Is he…OK?
— Christopher Hayes (@chrislhayes) June 8, 2017
Real talk: is John McCain ok?
— Joy Reid (@JoyAnnReid) June 8, 2017
McCain isn’t senile. He’s craven. He makes big speeches to appear independent, but when it counts he is a party loyalist, always.
— Wil Wheaton (@wilw) June 8, 2017
Confusion at McCain’s line of questioning abounded, and continues: he’s currently the #2 trending topic on Twitter, after Comey himself.
McCain: Would you say gooblewoobledeedo?
Comey: I don’t…what?
McCain: I thought you said that.
McCain: I’m very troubled.
— Johnny McNulty (@JohnnyMcNulty) June 8, 2017
His fellow Senators, and ex-Director Comey, appeared baffled as they struggled with McCain’s reasoning.
Other senators’ faces as McCain talks. pic.twitter.com/2x1nmRzbkQ
— Emma Loop (@LoopEmma) June 8, 2017
I don’t particularly feel bad for McCain, as his strange questions were clearly intended to direct attention back at the old standard GOP bogeywoman Hillary Clinton, and away from the serious investigations into Russian intereference with the election and possible collusion by Trump’s associates. The first words out of McCain’s mouth were “In the case of Hillary Clinton,” after all:
It isn’t complicated. McCain couldn’t stop his pathological need to protect Republicans and attack Democrats. That’s it. That’s always it.
— Wil Wheaton (@wilw) June 8, 2017
first words out of John McCain’s mouth: “in the case of Hillary Clinton” and my eyes just rolled all the way out of my head
— heath (@heathdwilliams) June 8, 2017
Even McCain later admitted that something was off about his questioning, though he attributes this to staying up too late watching the baseballs. It’s a bit odd that he’s trying to claim that his questions “went over people’s heads”—because they were too complex? Too profound?—and that he was too tired at the same time. Which one is it?
— John McCain (@SenJohnMcCain) June 8, 2017
His office has further elaborated, making me wish someone on his staff had simply helped prepare the questions he wanted to ask earlier. Today’s hearing was the equivalent of political Superbowl, and everyone brought their A-game—this was no time for McCain’s odd fumbling.
Ah, well. Now we know.
Good on Sen McCain and his office for clearing it up. pic.twitter.com/LnFbS2fZKC
— Rachel Maddow MSNBC (@maddow) June 8, 2017
The fact that McCain’s questions were so impenetrable as to demand an official explanation is worrisome. McCain isn’t even a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, but according to Time he was invited as an “ex-officio member” because he is chairman of the Armed Services Committee. As a senior ranking member of the Senate, McCain still wields a lot of power and influence at age 80—but not enough wherewithal to arrive prepared to the hearing of the century (so far).
John McCain is a man who has served his country well for decades, but as of late has failed to live up to any kind of “maverick” image once cultivated, issuing statements as mealy-mouthed as his questions today were whenever the GOP or Trump takes a dive off the deep-end. Previously he had expressed that he was “disappointed” with Trump’s firing of Comey, but you’d never know it from his bizarre performance today. Senator, we won’t blame you if you need a break.
John McCain just showed up at my apartment and accused Hillary Clinton of stealing my Blue Apron delivery can he stop eating my cheese
— Ira Madison III (@ira) June 8, 2017
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