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. Pamma

    But the money he plays with is REAL!!

    September 3, 2013 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  2. Jay

    That's US politicos–playing games with US foreign policy! Throw the buggers out.

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

    its not fake money when you send the u.s. to war.

    September 3, 2013 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  4. DudeLebowski

    Yeah, yeah, yeah....

    it's a "SCANDAL" (!!!)

    But I cut anyone who served years (F'n YEARS!) as a P.O.W. a break.

    And I think everyone else ought to as well.

    September 3, 2013 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  5. Wade

    He wants to play with our lives and money as well. He is a player. He never actually FOUGHT in a war not on the ground at least never commanded others in hand to hand battle. he was a pilot was shot down and captured. he stayed in jail as a prisoner of war then came home That is his great military experience. not to take anything away form his or any anyone else service as I also served but he has no clue really about war. He needs to keep his war mongering mouth shut before he gets more people killed.

    September 3, 2013 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  6. Dick Lepre

    The whole thing is essentially a poker game.

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

    I guess Sen McCain doesn't think this is too serious of a matter.
    This proclaimed 'war hero" can't give Americans 3 hours of solid attention.
    I'm more worried about the stinking gas being produced by Congress that is more likely to kill us working Americans.

    September 3, 2013 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  8. Thomas

    Know when to holdum , know when to foldum !

    Johnny the card shark !

    September 3, 2013 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  9. John

    Boring huh John McCain. Maybe its time to retire? I want attentive people serving America.

    September 3, 2013 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  10. Jorge Martinez

    Yeah right! And then…..make an "intelligent" decision? Sure, after wasting half of the hearing playing poker. If this was a employee at any corporation, he will be terminated or at least some sort of disciplinary action taken. Bureaucrats, got to love them!!!

    September 3, 2013 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  11. Jake

    I find nothing wrong with this. He needs to have his questions ready so that the holes he's missing will be answered.

    September 3, 2013 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  12. Smeagel4T

    I have my share of disagreements with McCain, however having watched some of the hearings with the Senators/Reps spending most of their time blowing out hot air and trying to pump themselves up for the cameras, I can't really blame him. It must get pretty old sitting through all that bluster.

    September 3, 2013 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  13. NameMisty

    Most employees are terminated or put on corrective action for frauding company time when they play games on company time. Too bad he thinks its funny.... Poor role model!!

    It's an important 3hr conversation!!! If he's not up for it, I can send him some of my employees. At least they know to stay off their phones and work.. That is what they are being paid for!

    September 3, 2013 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  14. dion

    AND this is suppose to be FUNNY? WE elect people of this capacity and seriousness? Just amazing I tell you...

    September 3, 2013 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  15. sammy750

    At least McCain ask questions, instead of grandstanding the audience. Most of the Senators had agendas to they spent most of the time talking, not asking questions to get more detail. Committee hearings are a big waste. When did one mean anything or make any changes.

    September 3, 2013 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  16. Stevel

    I would get in trouble for using the Internet like that at work. He should be suspended for one week with out pay

    September 3, 2013 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  17. Richard

    Well, he only earns about $115/hr, not counting the $6 million senators get for their office.

    September 3, 2013 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  18. Rich

    Vote this knucklehead and all of them out of office!!!

    September 3, 2013 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  19. democracy at work

    And stuff like this is how we end up in a war without cause or it being looked at closely.

    Thank you leaders of America for not having the attentions span of a teenager!

    September 3, 2013 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  20. Beaner

    It shows the intellectual depth of the #1 advocate of taking unspecified military action in a conflict where no US interests are at stake.

    September 3, 2013 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  21. Mancee Grayce

    And the Syrian populace is "fake" people...

    September 3, 2013 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  22. Shemp

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

    That's ok, you're only a "fake" Senator.'

    September 3, 2013 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  23. Anonymous

    ? We're dicussing the beginning of WWIII?

    September 3, 2013 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  24. potussuks

    of course he's playing poker..... he in it for his CAREER, not the Country.... he's a fat,happy,little smuck doing what obama tells him to.

    September 3, 2013 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  25. Bob

    Perhaps Mr. McCain, if you are bored in critical discussions of history changing events you should probably step down from your position. Your views are stale, anyways.

    September 3, 2013 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
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