Sen. John McCain took a personal recess to play virtual poker during Secretary of State John Kerry’s argument for the United States to take military action against Syria in the aftermath of their chemical attack on their own citizens.

McCain, who has stated his support for President Barack Obama’s suggestion to take military action, seemed to feel as though the poker game he was playing on his smart phone was more urgent than hearing the remarks made by the president’s top aides on the matter. A reporter present at the committee meeting on Tuesday snapped a damning picture of the Arizona senator in action. It was later posted on the Washington Post LiveBlog.

Eventually McCain realized he’d been caught red-handed and took to Twitter to address the picture with a bit of humor. “Scandal!” he tweeted. “Caught playing iPhone game at 3+ hour Senate hearing — worst of all I lost!” McCain later added, “As much as I like to listen in rapt attention, occasionally I get a wee bit bored.”

The three-hour meeting that bored the senior Republican senator had a tone of extreme gravity, as the discussion focused on whether or not the United States should go to war. At one point, Kerry passionately stated, “This is not the time for armchair isolationism. This is not the time to be spectators to a slaughter . . . We have spoken up against unspeakable horror. Now we must stand up and act.” Later on, New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez called their decision “one of the most difficult any of us will be asked to make.”

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, House Speaker John Boehner and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor are among those who’ve backed Obama’s plan to launch an attack on Syria from the skies. Menendez and Sen. Robert Corker (R-Tenn) have drafted a resolution that would seek to limit American involvement in the conflict to 60 days, and prohibit American boots on the ground in the troubled nation.

– Chelsea Regan

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