September 3rd, 2013
06:45 PM ET
7 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. steve

    He should lose his real money! Lost any respect I had for this guy!

    September 3, 2013 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  2. rich

    so happy he's having such a good time while we debate the killing and the possible death of our children, ain't it grand.

    September 3, 2013 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  3. hal

    Thanks god he's not our president! Obama playing golf and now this guy

    September 3, 2013 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  4. ThinkAgain

    Civilians have been gassed, the Middle East is once again on the brink of war, our nation is having a critical debate about possible military involvement at a time when we face economic hardship, and McGrumpy is playing a freakin' VIDEO GAME?!?!?

    At his salary and benefits, not to mention his responsibility, if he can't pay attention for a couple hours without needing some kind of infantile distraction, then he should be SEND HOME on the next plane!

    And the GOP wonders why people are sick of them ...

    September 3, 2013 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  5. STLMAN

    How pathetic. Our country has absolutely gone to seed. I thought it was bad enough with the GenXer's sitting in meetings with these toys, but a tenured senator!!!! Almost make Palin look smart.

    September 3, 2013 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  6. Balls of Steel

    I don't blame McCain for playing with an App. He knows what his vote is and the whole thing is probably boring. I would have done the same.

    September 3, 2013 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  7. nobrainer

    And those are the people we're suppose to rely on based on decisions they are making.

    September 3, 2013 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  8. cynthia

    Obama rests his foot on the desk, something we've seen Republicans, Democrats, and Whigs, etc, and the country goes into shock mode, but McCain....from my state sigh...and excuses are coming fast a d lame.

    September 3, 2013 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  9. Evergreen

    I have had to sit in many meetings and conferences that were a lot less important than deciding if we should attack another country. Not once did I see an attendee playing video games. They would have been fired immediately.

    September 3, 2013 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  10. Jack Dammit

    John McCain is yet another example of every single thing that is wrong with this country and specifically our congress.While John Kerry lies through his teeth (to no critical pressure from McCain) and tens of thousands of innocent women and children are at stake, McCain not only plays poker, but then laughs it all off as if it's some sort of joke.
    This man – and our entire congress – disgusts me.

    September 3, 2013 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  11. tony

    If a working American did that, he'd be fired.

    September 3, 2013 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  12. Kareen

    Shame on McCain.
    He is not fit to be a Senator!

    September 3, 2013 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  13. Taggot

    This dude has been in Congress waaaaaaaaaaaaaay too long.

    September 3, 2013 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  14. tony

    And he'd be paying more tax while working, than most of the 1%, so would have little to fall back on.

    September 3, 2013 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  15. Scott

    If I was caught playing poker at work I would be fired.

    September 3, 2013 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  16. josh

    The president was playing spades during the Bin Laden raid. Why wasn't that news?

    September 3, 2013 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  17. Bradley Hall

    John McCain has gravitas and credibility. Like Sarah Palin has.

    September 3, 2013 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  18. Dewyne Douglass

    Don"t blame him after listening to Rand Paul talk like a jerk.

    September 3, 2013 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  19. barBarS

    Young John McCain to the Old John McCain, "Get out of politics! You're embarrassing me!"

    September 3, 2013 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  20. Megan

    Yeah, it's just your JOB to sit there and listen, McCain. Guess what happens to the rest of us if we play poker on the company clock?

    September 3, 2013 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  21. James

    Hmm if I did this at my job I would be fired... just saying.

    September 3, 2013 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  22. jschmidt

    Wle'll he has something in common with Obama who was playing cards, according to one of his aides, when the Bin Laden op was going down.

    September 3, 2013 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  23. bill bennett

    And he was almost our President, and commander in Chief. Lucky for us he lost that gamble.

    September 3, 2013 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  24. John

    Reminds me of Dr. Strangelove...

    Shouting "Yippie!" as he rides the bomb that hurtles into the abyss of another Middle Eastern War.

    September 3, 2013 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  25. Tomahawk

    I'm glad the WAR against Syria which will KILL many innocent kids he so much wants is boring to him.

    September 3, 2013 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
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