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Orrin Hatch draws Twitter reaction for removing imaginary glasses during hearing

Committee Chairman Sen. Orrin Hatch on Jan. 9, 2018, on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. 

Win McNamee / Getty Images

Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, drew attention from Twitter users keeping a close eye on Tuesday's Senate Judiciary Committee hearing with DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen -- not for what the senator said, but rather what he did, or didn't do. 

In video captured by The Wrap's Jon Levine on Twitter, Hatch appeared to gesture as if he was removing a pair of glasses from his face -- but there were no glasses in sight. 

Twitter lit up in response, creating comedic fodder for late night hosts including Stephen Colbert on CBS' "The Late Show." Colbert commended Hatch's "admirable object work" and noting that the retiring senator should "go into mime as soon as possible." 

"The Daily Show" took a jab as well, editing footage of Hatch at the hearing to add in a pair of sunglasses.  

Even Hatch's office acknowledged the humorous attention the senator received, joking in response to Levine that the senator was merely taking off a pair of "invisible glasses" from hip spectacles manufacturer Warby Parker. "They're new, you've probably never heard of them," the tweet jested. 

Hatch, 83, announced his retirement from the Senate earlier this month. He has served as chairman of the Senate Finance Committee since 2015 and is the longest-serving Republican senator in U.S. history.

  • Emily Tillett

    Emily Tillett is a politics reporter and video editor for CBS News Digital