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. freddie nerk

    Proves how little he values life and only wants to kill. Hopefully his days on earth are running out soon.

    September 4, 2013 03:13 am at 3:13 am |
  2. RobertVal

    We're paying this guy to play videos games during a hearing and when it comes to his turn to speak he has nothing to say while all along he was promoting a strike on Syria. This guy needs to be removed from the Senate and the American people need to be reimbursed for the tax dollars spent on paying this clown.

    September 4, 2013 03:15 am at 3:15 am |
  3. William

    I wish I could work for the government, get paid about $200,000 per year plus expenses, and get to play electronic games during meetings on topics including national security. Where do I sign up?!?

    September 4, 2013 03:22 am at 3:22 am |
  4. Zed

    And to think this guy believed he was qualified to be president.

    September 4, 2013 03:34 am at 3:34 am |
  5. Loya

    Such Politicians at this age (78) should be allowed to play computer games while the fate of Syrians and Popularity of US are under discussion...Old man is happy that he will not get caught and used as interpreter by Vietcongs.,,.seems to have carried smoking habit from Vietnamese..

    September 4, 2013 04:21 am at 4:21 am |
  6. rexedie

    the inmates have taken over the asylum.....!!!!!

    September 4, 2013 05:00 am at 5:00 am |
  7. PA

    Dear Senator, if you can't handle three and half hours of intense discussion, please consider stepping down and giving the opportunity to more willing candidates. Your services to the country were greatly appreciated, including your say at the hearing, but you deserve some rest, don't you think? All the best. A fellow brother in arms.

    September 4, 2013 05:26 am at 5:26 am |
  8. jojo

    And that's just the tip of the iceberg. These guys are a waste of taxpayer dollars. Fire them all.

    September 4, 2013 05:28 am at 5:28 am |
  9. M.A.P.

    IMPEACH HIM!!! ....oh yeah, he LOST the presidency, thank god!

    September 4, 2013 05:44 am at 5:44 am |
  10. The Great Pontificator

    John McCain is pushing us into a war we should not be fighting. Syria is no threat to us and that alone should be the deciding factor. Does he realize the gravity of dropping bombs,...l see him laughing like that and think my God help us from this less than competent pack of boobs.

    September 4, 2013 05:50 am at 5:50 am |
  11. Gaff

    What was that about losing credibility again?

    September 4, 2013 06:20 am at 6:20 am |
  12. L@me

    If I, like most working people, got caught playing video poker on the job I would be fired. Senator McCain will continue to collect his six figure salary and, we decides to, retire with lifelong benefits. Awesome...

    September 4, 2013 06:27 am at 6:27 am |
  13. Jack

    the shame is congressmen and women do not suffer under the same retirement system as the rest of Americans. How arrogant have they became. Where are the checks and balances while the rest of America goes un/under employed!

    September 4, 2013 06:37 am at 6:37 am |
  14. howlowcanwego

    Sad to see such a blatant sign of Congressional dysfunction.
    Sadder to see no comments yet– a blatant sign of National dysfunction?

    September 4, 2013 07:21 am at 7:21 am |
  15. Bingo

    And these are the people who determine our destiny!

    September 4, 2013 07:32 am at 7:32 am |
  16. realitybriar

    Nice. Playing poker while he debates sending people off to die in another useless war. From a former Vietnam POW no less. Stay classy, Senator. Stay classy.

    September 4, 2013 07:51 am at 7:51 am |
  17. suzisaul

    GUESS WHAT!!! While seal team 6 was conducting a raid on Bin Laden's compound, the Commander in Chief was not only out of the war room, but was in another room upstairs with 2 other people playing Spades!!!! So what's your point here????? Did you report on that little fact, or never once thought to mention something that makes a democrat (the president, no less) look bad? Anyone who doesn't believe this can google the words President Obama Played Cards During the Bin Laden Raid

    September 4, 2013 07:53 am at 7:53 am |
  18. ev

    I am speechless.
    Whyam I thinking of those refugees all the time, instead of games.

    September 4, 2013 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  19. Data Driven

    Laugh and play, boys, while distractedly voting to inaugurate American military actions in Syria that might escalate into a full-blown war.

    Did his friend Wolf Blitzer explain to him that he's a callous warmonger who can't even muster the decency to pay attention to hearings that might affect the lives of all us, and certainly will affect the lives of men and women who have volunteered to serve our armed forces?

    Oh well, I guess if you're friendly with the media, you can do pretty much anything you want without consequences. It can even be presented as a "fun story" on pages like these.

    What a disgrace.

    September 4, 2013 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  20. Broke

    At least he has a job

    September 4, 2013 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  21. RR

    Why do you not use Disgus for all your articles?

    September 4, 2013 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  22. Wake up People!

    Really Alluh? A box? I am no fan of McCain by far, but don't you think that was a little rough?

    September 4, 2013 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  23. EDLES

    Because the hearings DON'T MATTER. Kerry said it outright even if congress doesn't approve President will do what he wants. And when the Senator said it has to be a congressional decision, Kerry said NO IT DOESN'T. Welcome to the new dictatorship.

    September 4, 2013 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  24. Wake up People!

    Actually suzisaul there was an entire article dedicated to that very topic. The difference is Senator McCain is in a meeting that will determine what America will do when it comes to Syria. He should have been paying attention. When it came to the Bin Laden raid that was different. The POTUS has a right to relax, I'm sure those were some tense hours. There's no equation between the two situations.

    September 4, 2013 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  25. Nomadman01

    Funny how all fellow republicans are silent. Can you imagine if Obama had been caught doing something even remotely like that? I can already hear all the screaming and the name calling....

    September 4, 2013 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
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