September 3rd, 2013
06:45 PM ET
11 months ago

McCain's poker scandal

(CNN) – Sen. John McCain, perhaps the Senate's most outspoken voice in favor of military action in Syria, was caught playing poker Tuesday at the first congressional hearing about giving the president authority to use force in the war-torn country.


The Senate Foreign Relations Committee grilled the panel of top Obama officials, including Secretary of State John Kerry, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey.

While McCain spoke up when it came his turn, a Washington Post photographer snapped a photo of the Arizona Republican trying his luck in the meantime.

Read more about the hearing

The senator later explained his poker habit on CNN's "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer."

"As much as I like to always listen with rapt attention constantly (to) remarks of my colleagues over a three and a half period, occasionally I get a little bored and so I resorted," he said, chuckling. "But the worst thing about it is I lost thousands of dollars in this game."

He followed up, saying it was only "fake" money.


Filed under: Congress • John McCain • Syria
soundoff (416 Responses)
  1. JP

    makes him more likable.

    September 3, 2013 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  2. Demigod Vadik, CA

    Well...

    ...how many of you do this at work???...honestly...

    September 3, 2013 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  3. Anonymous

    legalize online poker now

    September 3, 2013 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  4. TheAbsurdity

    Worst of all he lost... Kinda like how we will lose billions when they vote yes for this strike?

    September 3, 2013 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  5. Cameron

    You try sitting in a 3 hour meeting. If I had the chance; I would play some poker too!

    September 3, 2013 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  6. Bob

    "fake" as in "taxpayer"

    September 3, 2013 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  7. AZTEA

    This is why we tried to vote this RINO out the last time. Good Grief John, just turn in your Liberal papers please

    September 3, 2013 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  8. Tdog

    Brilliant, I'm amazed Senile John McCain can remember a flush beats a straight but then again he was losing

    September 3, 2013 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  9. Gigi

    It's great to know that with an issue as serious as Syria is on the table our law makers are too busy playing online poker. And to think he almost became our president. Come on son! Try to fake some form of professionalism.

    September 3, 2013 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  10. tim

    Sure wasn't "words with friends"...you gotta have friends for that game. Hey ho! I'll be here all week.

    September 3, 2013 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  11. Jimmie Russells

    Why have voters in AZ not voted this guy out of office?

    September 3, 2013 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  12. tobosbunny

    And the tax payers pay his salary. I know if I was playing a game on my iphone while working I would be at the very least reprimanded but most likely fired....

    September 3, 2013 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  13. Bob Dobalina

    Better to be playing poker in a meeting than a real life game of RISK with our military.

    September 3, 2013 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  14. KH

    I am a liberal but McCain is my favorite Republican. He has an interesting personal history, and he's pragmatic, willing to listen to both sides of an argument, willing to compromise and as shown here, he's regular people too. :-)

    September 3, 2013 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  15. Sandra LeVin

    McCain has really lost it.

    September 3, 2013 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  16. SD Dude

    Either way, its gamble for him.

    September 3, 2013 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  17. Sky

    Chances of people just laughing it off for a lovable old senator just trying to have some fun?

    September 3, 2013 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  18. NewYorkGroov

    Mr. McCain, I once held you to the highest esteem.

    Your actions during these historic proceedings speak volumes.

    You and your brethren on Capital Hill could care less what your constituents are imploring you to do, and stay out of this.

    Why don't you and Alec meet up for a game of Words with Friends, and leave the heavy lifting for the TRUE patriots that still believe in democracy!

    September 3, 2013 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  19. Brian

    This is funny, I would do the same thing if I was in his shoes... :)

    September 3, 2013 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  20. Jason

    This is how the People's Business is "attended to"!

    September 3, 2013 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  21. jk

    Well, it's only a duty required of Congress and only involves solemnly judging an action sure to kill fellow human beings. Why take it seriously? After all, it's just political advertising for both parties anyway, not really about human rights, which we freely violate ourselves constantly.

    September 3, 2013 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  22. Sniffit

    He lost thousands in fake money on video poker while we paid him thousands in real money to pretend he was paying attention at a congressional hearing while making life-and-death decisions about military action and national security.

    Perhaps we should start paying him in fake money since he apparently considers it more important?

    September 3, 2013 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  23. Robert

    This is news?

    September 3, 2013 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  24. pat carr

    McCain this McCain that, gee whiz CNN don't you have other government officials to write about?

    September 3, 2013 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  25. radgast

    I accept his explanation, its better than his policy making which is a little more aggressive for my liking, maybe he makes policy like he plays poker

    September 3, 2013 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
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