Today, James Comey spoke to Congress in the most highly anticipated public hearing in modern times. Every Senator fulfilled their partisan duties, with Democrats asking him about the investigation into Trump’s ties to Russia, while Republicans vacillated between trying to defame Comey, and getting him to extrapolate large portions of his opening statement that were good for Donald Trump into segments that were great for Trump.
Then there was John McCain, who decided that this was the moment to break out his best Grandpa Simpson impression. Take a look at this trainwreck below, and be sure to check out Paste’s recap of the best tweets about this madness.
Good God. It’s like his brain detached itself from his mouth just prior to his questioning. Because this is the perfect opportunity for schadenfreude on a phony “maverick” who absolutely deserves it, please allow the two of us to dogpile on this very confused and disoriented Senator.
“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. Comey, 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.”
Jacob: Holy crap. Look at Comey’s face as McCain stumbles through this exercise in false equivalence. It’s like he’s trying to figure out how to communicate with an extraterrestrial.
Shane: McCain, smugly: “Sir, you are on record as having flown on multiple airplanes. And yet you don’t believe in dragons, who also fly. PLEASE EXPLAIN YOURSELF!”
Jacob: Comey basically responded that “the Clinton investigation was closed and the Trump investigation was open you buffoon, what the hell else is there to say?” But McCain refused to take “fucking duh” for an answer and pressed on, with this actual quote.
“That investigation was going on, this investigation was going on, you reached separate conclusions.”
Jacob: Uhhhh…is John McCain suggesting that all investigations should reach the same conclusion at the same time?
Shane: McCain, smugly, again: “Sir, do you have any reasonable explanation for why Hillary Clinton wasn’t executed in 1927 along with Sacco & Vanzetti?”
”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—particularly since you just emphasized the role that Russia played. And obviously she was a candidate for president at the time, so she was clearly involved in this whole situation where fake news—as you just described it—big deal, uhhh, took place. You’re gonna have to help me out here. In other words, we’re complete the investigation of anything that former Secretary Clinton had to do with the campaign is over and we don’t have to worry about it anymore?”
Jacob: Comey’s first response to that “question” was “I’m a little confused Senator.” That’s quite a kind way of responding to that word salad above. McCain’s words suggest a cynical choice to connect Hillary Clinton to the Russia investigation, but his tone implies an old man lost at the mall.
Shane: Hillary Clinton was executing the classic political chess move known as the “Stalingrad Shuffle,” where you align with a Russian autocrat to lose an election on purpose so that you can be humiliated on a national stage and then maybe win next time even though everyone hates you.
Jacob: After Comey clarified that he closed the investigation into Clinton’s use of a private server last summer, McCain tossed more batshit on the fire.
McCain:”So but at the same time you made the announcement that there would be no charges brought against then Secretary Clinton for any activities involved in the Russia involvement in our engagement in our election. I don’t—I don’t quite understand how you can be done with that but not done with the whole investigation of their attempt to affect the outcome of their election.”
Shane: HOLY SHIT THEY ARE TWO DIFFERENT INVESTIGATIONS ABOUT TWO DIFFERENT THINGS. WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU EVEN TALKING ABOUT?
Comey responded more calmly:
Comey: No—I’m sorry, we’re not, at least when I left, when I was fired on May 9th, there was an open active investigation to understand the Russian efforts AND whether any Americans worked with them.
McCain: “But you reached the conclusion that there was no reason to bring charges against Secretary Clinton. So you reached a conclusion in the case of Mr. Comey, you, uh, President Comey, in the case of President Trump, you have an ongoing investigation. So you’ve got one candidate that you’re done with, and another candidate that you have a long way to go. Is that correct?
Jacob: Oh. My. God. He’s clearly trying to say “you closed Hillary’s investigation but not Trump’s, so clearly that means you’re biased against Trump.” Except he’s delivering it with the clarity and confidence of someone who just sustained a traumatic brain injury. There’s a part of me that feels icky making fun of a confused, old man, but this is a confused, old man who has advocated bombing everyone at every turn and is engaged in a cynical ploy to run interference for a president who may be under the influence of an adversarial government, so fuck him. He made an ass of himself and it’s my job as an Internet person to make sure everyone points and laughs at his idiocy.
Shane: Mohn JcCain.