John McCain at Comey's testimony

Screengrab via CSPAN

What was up with John McCain’s questions at Comey’s testimony?

Comey tried to explain to McCain that the Russia investigation was separate from the investigation into Hillary Clinton's emails.


Andrew Wyrich


Published Jun 8, 2017   Updated May 23, 2021, 3:47 am CDT

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) spent most of his time during former FBI Director James Comey’s testimony on Thursday talking about former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s emails.

McCain seemed to be perplexed as to how the FBI could have finished an investigation into Clinton’s email server, but was still investigating possible ties between President Donald Trump’s campaign and Russia.

Comey seemed confused as to why McCain brought up Clinton’s emails, as the investigation had been “a completed investigation.”

“I think the American people have a whole lot of questions out there, particularly since you just emphasized the role that Russia played, and obviously she was a candidate for president at the time,” McCain said. “So clearly she was involved in this whole situation where fake news, as you just described it, big deal, took place.”

Comey tried to clarify that they were two separate investigations and at one point admitted that he was “confused” by McCain’s questions.

“The Clinton email investigation was completed, the investigation of Russia’s efforts in connection with the election and whether there was any coordination and if so, with whom, between Russia and the campaign was ongoing when I left,” Comey said.

McCain then seemed to imply that the FBI should have investigated whether Russia coordinated with Clinton’s campaign.

“I want to say something to be clear, we have not announced and there was no predication to announce an investigation of whether the Russians may have coordinated with Secretary Clinton’s campaign,” Comey responded.

McCain said he thought there was a “double standard” with the FBI saying there would be no charges brought against Clinton in the email investigation, yet there was still an ongoing investigation into Russia’s possible involvement with the Trump campaign.

Watch all of the exchange here:

Update 1:47pm CT, June 8: Sen. McCain’s office issued a statement in response to the Twitter reaction, saying that McCain’s questioning was off because he had stayed up late watching a Diamondbacks game.

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*First Published: Jun 8, 2017, 1:18 pm CDT