September 3rd, 2013
06:45 PM ET
1 year 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. ALLuh

    Time to go home to Arizona John and get in a box already.

    September 3, 2013 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  2. Steve-in-MA

    "He followed up, saying it was only "fake" money."
    I wonder if he believes that there are only "fake" lives at stake?

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

    He can't be serious! Playing poker at a critical moments of making decisions in a national level? Kick him out of the loop!

    September 3, 2013 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  4. ericswife

    I love Zynga poker!! I play it anytime I get a chance. The only places I refuse to play are: church, kids' activities, and meetings regarding going to war.

    September 3, 2013 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  5. Teresa

    Nice to know he is taking this seriously. If he worked directly for me, I would fire him.

    September 3, 2013 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  6. Dennis Vogt

    I was caught doing that at work and my employer told me that I would be fired if I ever did it again. He also reminded me that once I am no longer employed, I would also no longer receive the benefit of insurance.

    September 3, 2013 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  7. rad666

    So, with al Qaeda ready to take over Syria with the help of America's military, a proud moment in history is upon America's soldiers.

    "Ooh-rah!"

    September 3, 2013 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  8. Guy

    This was refreshing because it was honest and people didn't blow it all out of proportion.

    September 3, 2013 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  9. John Doehn

    Our government is never serious. Is anyone surprised about this one..?

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

    I honestly think he has dementia, he made sense until about two years ago, I never agreed with his views but playing a video game during a hearing about a war that could potentially set the middle east on fire and then tweeting about it? nobody sane would do that

    September 3, 2013 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  11. Josh

    So, he is playing poker while pretending to be on duty... Is this what the taxpayers paying him for? Talk about government waste!

    September 3, 2013 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  12. Patriot

    Tax dollars at work. Just flip a coin over Syria.

    September 3, 2013 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  13. Ann

    Congress is a reality show....Bravo needs to pick this up.

    September 3, 2013 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  14. Beverly

    And that's why Congress has such a problem. They do NOT pay attention!

    September 3, 2013 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  15. bobaussie

    This guy is really out of touch with reality. I hope Arizona has the good sense to vote him out of office next time around. He's making Arizona look like a dementia/alzheimer care state more interested in propping up defense industries instead of building national unity and international cooperation.

    September 3, 2013 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  16. Brittni

    I'm glad someone is taking a possible bombing of another country with many innocent lives surely to come seriously.

    September 3, 2013 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  17. Rags

    Speaks volumes about our current Republicans! They're too busy gambling to be taken seriously. Unfortunately they're gambling with our wellbeing and not doing their jobs.

    September 3, 2013 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  18. Yeah.right69

    We're doomed.

    September 3, 2013 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  19. Boris

    Mcain, you need to go back to your house and start playing Bridge with the other Dinosaurs in your 85 and older community

    September 3, 2013 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  20. Nick78

    This is why I dislike all politicians. This is very serious and it seems to be a joke and boring to them. Unreal…..

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

    An example of the shallowness of John McCain – he is in position to send people/or order peoples deaths and he is playing poker? He clearly lacks the necessary basic sense of responsibility to hold the position he holds, and to make decisions like this.

    September 3, 2013 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  22. Gregory

    LOL. Good for him.

    September 3, 2013 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  23. Cameron

    he is just practicing his rights of playing Games!

    September 3, 2013 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  24. retiree

    Ahhh, McCain's attention span revealed, yet another reason why he couldn't be president. I'm not thrilled with who we do have, but McCain would have been far worse . . .

    September 3, 2013 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  25. Pan3

    We're so glad you never won the presidency...

    September 3, 2013 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
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