McCain snapped playing poker on iPhone during Syria hearing
'Worst of all, I lost’ laments US senator as crucial draft resolution for Syria action is agreed
SENIOR US officials were listening carefully yesterday to a crucial Senate hearing about military force in Syria – all except Senator John McCain who was busy playing poker on his iPhone.
A Washington Post journalist, Melina Mara, photographed the Republican casually betting imaginary money on his mobile while those around him made impassioned pleas about the future of Syria.
— David Beard (@dabeard) September 3, 2013
After the photograph began circulating online, McCain posted a tweet of his own. "Scandal!" he wrote. "Caught playing iPhone game at 3+ hour Senate hearing - worst of all I lost!"
He later appeared on CNN to discuss the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing, where Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel were among those testifying. McCain admitted on air that much as he likes to "listen with rapt attention" to his colleagues, he occasionally gets "a little bored". He added that the "worst thing about it" was that he had lost thousands of fake dollars in the game.
Scandal! Caught playing iPhone game at 3+ hour Senate hearing - worst of all I lost!
— John McCain (@SenJohnMcCain) September 3, 2013
McCain has already made his views clear that failure to support Barack Obama’s request for authorisation to strike Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime in response to the use of chemical weapons "would be catastrophic" for the US.
Senators yesterday agreed on a draft resolution backing the use of military force in Syria. The measure, to be voted on next week, sets a time limit of 60 days on any operation, with one 30-day extension possible. The draft document also bans the use of any ground forces in Syria.
McCain, who was defeated by Obama in the 2008 presidential race, has been calling for US military intervention to topple Assad’s regime since the civil war began in March 2011. He has repeatedly criticised Obama’s stance on the crisis, accusing the president of dithering on the issue. ·