Once again, we have clues to something. The Pharisees send people to ask John The Baptist who he is, and John denies being any of the people he asks about, including Elijah. John denies being any of them; yet later Jesus makes a statement that seemed to say that John was indeed someone!
Of course, John would deny it. If he had said who he was, it would have diverted attention from what he was supposed to do, and the one whose coming he proclaimed.
John did say that the one they were waiting for was standing among them and they didn’t know it! Another case of folks waiting for something that’s already here?