John McCain Caught Playing Poker on iPhone During Syria Hearing, Unapologetic

Celebrity News Sep. 4, 2013 AT 6:30PM
Senator John McCain plays poker on his iPhone during a Syria hearing. John McCain was caught playing a poker game on his iPhone during a U.S. Senate Committee hearing on Syria on Sept. 3, but was unapologetic on Twitter following the incident. Credit: Melina Mara/The Washington Post/Getty Images; Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

Sorry, John McCain's not sorry! The 77-year-old Arizona Senator was caught on camera by a photographer playing a poker game on his iPhone during the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations hearing concerning Syria in Washington D.C. on Tuesday, Sept. 3. Rather than apologize, McCain joked about the incident on Twitter.

"Scandal!" he tweeted Tuesday. "Caught playing iPhone game at 3+ hour Senate hearing -- worst of all I lost!"

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The controversial photo was snapped by Washington Post photographer Melina Mara, who then posted it on the website's live blog. Secretary of State John Kerry, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey testified during the hearing, which debated whether or not to use force and intervene in the war in Syria.

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Earlier that same day, McCain shared his view on the Syria debate with the TODAY show, saying President Barack Obama -- who defeated him in the 2008 presidential election is playing "a very difficult game."

"I think it's a very tough call, but to do nothing, as I said, would have consequences throughout the world," McCain told Savannah Guthrie. "But to do something that really doesn't change anything, in other words some token strikes, and then some time later, [Syrian leader] Bashar Assad uses those chemical weapons again. What then? Go through the same routine?"

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What would McCain like to see done? "You provide the weapons and you take out the air power that is the distinct advantage that Bashar Assad had, you commit to no American troops on the ground, and you can reverse this," the Republican Senator said. "The Free Syrian Army is viable, it's strong and it's moderate, and anybody who tells you anything different isn't telling you the truth. We need to reverse the situation on the battlefield. It's an unfair fight. Russian weapons are pouring in, Iranian weapons are pouring in. Have no doubt, this is a proxy war, and the Iranians are the ones that will gain or lose by this."

On Wednesday, McCain tweeted, "My amendment calling for changing momentum on the battlefield in #Syria passed SFRC by voice vote -- a significant measure."

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