It seems the president was the only one not live-tweeting about James Comey’s testimony Thursday.
As the former FBI director testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee, millions watched—on television or via live streams—and many spectators chimed in on social media platforms, notably Twitter.
Some weighed in early, applauding Comey for his written statement issued Wednesday; others lashed out at Comey’s decision to leak a memo to members of the press.
Many on Thursday waited in anticipation of President Donald Trump’s tweeted reactions, though those people were ultimately disappointed: The commander in chief’s Twitter account remained silent during the hearing.
— Donta Henson (@DontaHenson) June 8, 2017
Jokes such as the following were made regarding the measures Trump’s staff was taking to keep him away from social media:
— Morgan Mack (@Morganza91) June 8, 2017
Social media users tweeted throughout the hearing: Talkwalker reports that the #ComeyDay hashtag saw 368,043 tweets, while the #Comey hashtag racked up 211,842 tweets, the #ComeyHearing hashtag garnered 137,763 tweets and the #ComeyTestimony hashtag received 76,367 tweets.
Bloomberg provided a live stream on Twitter, which was part of a recent live-video partnership:
— Twitter Moments (@TwitterMoments) June 8, 2017
Vox used Facebook Live to live-stream the hearing:
Talkwalker also reports that although the largest portion of online conversation took place in the United States, Comey’s hearing was the subject of Twitter commentary worldwide:
Twitter users mock John McCain’s questions
Sen. John McCain’s portion of the hearing sent Twitter users buzzing, as many said the politician’s questions and statements were confusing.
Twitter users piled on McCain’s comments with derision:
YES JOHN MCCAIN, FINISHING ONE INVESTIGATION DOES NOT MEAN THE OTHER IS DONE.
ARE YOU OK? DO YOU NEED HELP?
— Jesse Berney (@jesseberney) June 8, 2017
— Jordan Brenner (@JordanBrenner) June 8, 2017
“So you’re telling me the JFK investigation is over but the Trump investigation is still ongoing? How is this possible?” — John McCain
— Dan Amira (@DanAmira) June 8, 2017
Senator McCain it’s your turn for questioning.
John McCain: pic.twitter.com/0aD8deomlS
— Matthew A. Cherry (@MatthewACherry) June 8, 2017
john mccain just now was more embarrassing than when he picked sarah palin for his running mate
— Oliver Willis (@owillis) June 8, 2017
Have you tried shutting down and restarting your Senator John McCain?
— Anthony De Rosa ð½ (@Anthony) June 8, 2017
— Jacob Abudaram (@JacobAbudaram) June 8, 2017
I’m jealous of John McCain because he seems to be the only person unaware that the 2016 election already happened.
— Josh Gondelman (@joshgondelman) June 8, 2017
I hope that, as polarized as our country is right now, we can all agree that John McCain has made no sense at all in the last ten minutes.
— Daniel W. Drezner (@dandrezner) June 8, 2017
“The senator’s time has expired” has never felt more appropriate than after John McCain’s set of questions.
— waitwait (@waitwait) June 8, 2017
McCain later tweeted a response to the criticism, which included a link to an official statement:
— John McCain (@SenJohnMcCain) June 8, 2017
Though some criticize McCain for saying his questions “went over people’s heads,” the rest of his written statement was decidedly clearer than his questions and comments at the hearing:
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.
McCain wasn’t the only person to offer remarks after the hearing. Trump’s personal lawyer, Marc Kasowitz, also issued a statement:
Statement from Trump’s lawyer denies Trump asked Comey for loyalty, which Comey just testified to under oath
Comey’s word vs. Trump’s word pic.twitter.com/6uaN4ZTi1A
— Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) June 8, 2017