June 8, 2017

The final questioner at James Comey's open hearing today was John McCain, who is either in the midst of a dreadful and serious cognitive slide or was intentionally feeding Fox News some sound bites to deflect from the extremely damaging parts of James Comey's testimony this morning.

This is convoluted, but essentially, McCain was asking Comey why they closed the investigation into Hillary Clinton's email server while leaving the Russia interference investigation open. It was clear to all observing, including Comey, that Senator McCain was somehow confusing the Clinton email server investigation with the Russian interference investigation.

At one point, Comey felt compelled to try and correct that impression, telling McCain that "We have not announce announced nor provocation to announce that the Russians may have coordinated with Secretary Clinton's campaign."

McCain shot back, "Well, they may not have been involved with her campaign. They were involved with the entire presidential campaign, obviously."

He clarified his thoughts on that, continuing, "So both President Trump and former candidate Clinton are both involved in the investigation, yet one of them, you said, there's going to be no charges. and the other one, the investigation continues."

"Well, I think there's a double standard there to tell you the truth," he scolded.

Of course, that misstates things. They were NOT "both involved in the investigation." Trump was (and is). Clinton, as Comey stated clearly, never was.

During this exchange, he also appeared to some observers to be in the midst of a cognitive slide. I'm not inclined to give the benefit of the doubt on that. I believe this was intentional, it was meant to toss red meat to Trump's base by conflating the email server investigation with the Russian interference investigation, and that it was not accidental that it was done by the final questioner in the public hearing.

I guarantee you that the right wing media outlets will pick up McCain's questions and pronouncements uncritically, with Fox News likely to lead off their evening block tonight with claims that there was a "double standard" in how Russian interference was being investigated.

Don't be fooled by the doddering old man act. That was intentional, desperate, and will be used for what it is.

Update: Oh, here's McCain, assuring everyone there was method to his madness.

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