September 3rd, 2013
06:45 PM ET
12 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. Dennis

    Wow perhaps if the Senator is finding matters of national security "boring", perhaps he should resume his career as a civilian. I mean it was a briefing about military action on a foreign country but you got bored??? Really? Way to go Arizona you keep putting this idot in office.

    September 3, 2013 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  2. rs

    I dunno, McCain playing games at a Senate hearing dealing with war in Syria seems strangely appropriate. The GOP gambles on the economy, the government, our health and well-being- shoot they gamble on just about everything. Our risks, their rewards.
    I so look forward to the day when the GOP is responsible and grown up again.

    September 3, 2013 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  3. Tip

    I don't find this funny, the world is going to hell and he can't be bothered to pay attention. I think it's disgraceful and it's time he retired.

    September 3, 2013 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  4. Juliboy

    Full house! ... I mean YAY!!

    September 3, 2013 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  5. johnny _m_mustard

    McCains Joker face you mean.

    September 3, 2013 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  6. DerpDDerperson

    Oh good, the one that's crowing the loudest for war can't be bothered with the details as to why America should(n't) be fighting it.

    September 3, 2013 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  7. Mike

    I'm as liberal as they come but give this guy a break. He's only human. Much of what was being said was purely for the cameras anyway. Everyone knows how this vote was going to turn out.

    September 3, 2013 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    probably went all in with a 7/2 off. Idiot. I wish i knew who all his corporate sponsors were so I could never buy from them again...

    September 3, 2013 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  9. Smellferd

    This mans time has come and gone.

    September 3, 2013 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  10. Walter

    These are our leaders. One plays poker while deciding the fates of nations, and the other says he's going to bomb and nation and goes out for Golf.

    The rest of the world can see this too.

    Time we start holding these individuals responsible for their wanton murder of people they disagree with.

    September 3, 2013 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  11. Foxholenorman

    HAHAHA I sure do like how Wolf gave McCain a verbal blowie for his joke about playing video poker while having a hearing on whether or not we kill a bunch of people with missiles, potentially upsetting Russia and China! HOO BOY WHAT A KNEE SLAPPER, SENATOR!

    September 3, 2013 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  12. Joe America

    What a worthless excuse for a human being. A disgraceful example of disgusting contempt for the democratic process. A shameful candidate that put his lust above his brain in picking his second-in-command, and now a shameful Senator who put his brain in a bucket a long long time ago.

    September 3, 2013 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  13. barney mason

    Don't worry about losing a little doe John. There will be plenty to go around once those missiles begin to fly.

    September 3, 2013 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  14. Veeblefester

    Somebody please tell Pop-Pop to go home and go to bed already. McCain has been a complete embarrassment for at least the last 14 years.

    September 3, 2013 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  15. Henry2000

    McCain should retire immediately. He has turned himself into a corrupted power broker and nothing more. How could we allow arrogant and incompetent people like McCain to decide whether or not our country should go to war with others?

    September 3, 2013 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  16. BaileyDubs

    You get the feeling this is all a game to the ruling class.

    September 3, 2013 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  17. CHR

    Interesting. AOL is running a poll on what readers think about Obama putting his foot on his desk while on a business call and the right ripped him a new one for playing golf after a press conference. Now everyone thinks its just a hoot that McCain got caught playing video poker during one of the most important sessions ever. As long as he laughs at himself its all ok. Screams of impeachment would have have been the headlines had it been Obama. I'm just saying...

    September 3, 2013 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  18. Bill

    I regularly have to sit through much longer meetings at work for far less money involving far less important subjects such as bombing a country to smithereens using US taxpayer dollars, without the luxury of playing online poker....Sorry you were bored Mr Public Servant.
    Two words: Term limits.

    September 3, 2013 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  19. mike johnson

    ... there is no fool like an old fool ...

    September 3, 2013 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  20. Eric

    Haha. I imagine the meetings to get rather tiresome.

    September 3, 2013 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  21. searsjs

    Let's not forget this guy works for us. Senator John McCain was caught by his boss playing a video game at work during an important meeting. Why should we expect he pay attention for 3+ hours, because we pay him to and he works for us. The American people should do exactly what any other boss/employer would do, fire him. Especially given the arrogance of his response. Imagine this, your boss catches you playing games during the board meeting at work, then you respond with "I get bored at these meetings. you don't really expect me to pay attention that long". The arrogance is mind blowing. I've lost all the respect I once had for John McCain.

    September 3, 2013 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  22. Jon

    Must be nice to play games and make $193,400 yearly, not counting free medical and paid vacations. Something seriously needs to be done about this "government". They've created a nice life for themselves, and a plutocracy for the rest of us. It's not "We the People", hasn't been for some time now.

    September 3, 2013 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  23. Jamie Estevez

    Senator McCain is a disgrace. He is a warmonger. The ultimate chickenhawk. The sooner the Republican party purges its ranks of hyper-interventionists like John McCain all the better for them. The man is siding with Al Qaeda in Syria, yes he says we only support the "GOOD REBELS" but the last time I checked those good rebels were beheading Orthodox Christian priests while yelling "Allah hu Akbar"! Who does John McCain, or John Kerry or Hagel or the con man and chief Barrack Obama think they are fooling on Syria. NO WAR WITH SYRIA! NO WAR FOR AL QAEDA! NO MORE WARS FOR ISRAEL!

    September 3, 2013 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  24. Total2199

    The Arizona Senator had to be retired tendering to his great grand children a long time ago.

    September 3, 2013 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  25. jdag

    yeah...and folks will loose lives in Syria, not just 'thousands' of fake poker dollars.....Americans, just never seem to 'get it' do they? Never understand the gravitas of their actions....

    September 3, 2013 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
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