People were left utterly confused by Sen. John McCain's bizarre questioning of James Comey

James Comey’s hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday ended on a bizarre note, with Sen. John McCain asking the former FBI director a confusing set of questions that left journalists and pundits scratching their heads.

During his six-minute line of questioning, McCain referred to Comey as “President Comey” and seemed to conflate the FBI’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election with an unrelated investigation into former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s email practices that ended last year.

“I’m glad you concluded that part of the investigation, but I think that the American people have a whole lot of questions out there,” McCain said to Comey.

“You’re going to have to help me out here,” he continued. “In other words, we’re complete — the investigation of anything that Secretary Clinton had to do with the campaign is over and we don’t have to worry about it any more?”

Comey attempted to clarify the two investigations — the Clinton email investigation ended last summer with Comey’s recommendation that the former secretary of state not be charged with criminal wrongdoing for her use of a private email server.

“I’m a little confused, senator,” Comey said. “With respect to Secretary Clinton, we investigated, criminal investigation, in connection with her use of a personal email server. And that’s the investigation I announced the conclusion of on July 5.”

But McCain continued to suggest a link between the investigations, at one point seeming to imply that Clinton’s campaign had also been involved with the Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

“Both President Trump and former candidate Clinton are both involved in the investigation, yet one of them you said there would be no charges and the other one you say the investigation continues,” McCain said. “Well, I think there’s a double standard there to tell you the truth.”

Committee Chairman Richard Burr eventually gaveled McCain’s questioning to an end, but not before Twitter users started commenting on the senator’s questions:

Even fellow Republican Sen. Marco Rubio was puzzled by McCain’s questions.

“I didn’t follow that line of questioning very well,” he told reporters after the hearing.

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