As Comey testifies, Twitter users cheer and jeer—and mock McCain

The former FBI director appeared at a Senate hearing Thursday. Millions watched via live streams, and hundreds of thousands tweeted questions, comments and quips.


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.

Jokes such as the following were made regarding the measures Trump’s staff was taking to keep him away from social media:

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:

Vox used Facebook Live to live-stream the hearing:

Twitch took to its own platform to offer a stream of Comey’s testimony, and Reddit users updated a live blog, which contained quotes and videos, throughout 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:

McCain later tweeted a response to the criticism, which included a link to an official statement:

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:

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