Sen. John McCain, finding himself the subject of social media storm over his somewhat convoluted questioning of FBI director James B. Comey in the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday, offered an explanation — he had stayed up too late the night before.
"Maybe going forward I shouldn't stay up late watching the Diamondbacks night games," said the Arizona Republican whose wife, Cindy, is a minority owner of the baseball team.
McCain then attempted to explain the aim of 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. In the case of Secretary Clinton's emails, Mr. Comey was willing to step beyond his role as an investigator and state his belief about what 'no reasonable prosecutor' would conclude about the evidence. I wanted Mr. Comey to apply the same approach to the key question surrounding his interactions with President Trump—whether or not the President's conduct constitutes obstruction of justice. While I missed an opportunity in today's hearing, I still believe this question is important, and I intend to submit it in writing to Mr. Comey for the record."
But the questions as they came out during the hearing started a different line of questions flying.
McCain, 80, a veteran of both military wars and presidential campaigns, mostly questioned Comey on Hillary Clinton's email scandal, which surprised viewers and confused Comey.
After Comey repeatedly reminded McCain that the Clinton investigation had already been completed, McCain doubled down, attempting to link Clinton with Russia.
"So she was clearly involved in this whole situation where, fake news — as you just described it, is a big deal — took place," McCain said. "You're going to have to help me out here. In other words, we're complete, the investigation of anything former Secretary Clinton had to do with the campaign is over, and we don't have to worry about it anymore?"
Comey responded: "I'm a little confused, Senator."
And he wasn't alone.
More people said they were legitimately concerned for the senator's wellbeing.
In a more pointed moment, McCain suggested that the FBI should be investigating whether Clinton conspired with the Russians to disrupt the election.
"I want to say something to be clear: We have not announced, and there was no predication to announce, an investigation into whether the Russians had coordinated with Secretary Clinton's campaign," Comey said.
Scott Detrow, who covers Congress for NPR, said McCain's demeanor was unusual for him.
Detrow's observation has only fueled concern.