McCain plays poker on iPhone during Syria hearing - KMSP-TV

Gold Star mom on poker playing McCain: `It`s time for him to step down`

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Sometimes senators need a diversion from even the weightiest of topics. For Arizona Sen. John McCain during Tuesday's hearing on Syria, it was a game on his iPhone.

The Washington Post posted a picture taken during the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing and reported that it shows the Arizona Republican playing poker on his phone. Only his hands and iPhone were visible.

Gold Star mother Debbie Lee says she couldn't believe the actions of her hometown senator, while administration officials debated the wisdom of launching an attack on another Mideast country.

"I got a sick feeling in my stomach and it was infuriating," Lee says of the incident. "This isn't something that you take lightly. This isn't something… you give your full attention to it. You don't play video poker. And if he's so bored with his job then it's time for him to step down."

Lee is the founder of America's Mighty Warriors, a group dedicated to helping the parents of fallen soldiers. Her son, Marc Allen Lee, was the first navy seal to die in Iraq in 2006.

After McCain became aware he'd been caught on camera playing poker, he jokingly tweeted: "Scandal! Caught playing iPhone game at 3+ hour Senate hearing - worst of all I lost!"

Lee calls that response flippant, and says the senator, a Vietnam War hero himself, needs to apologize to those in the military and their families.

"He served our country," Lee says. "He knows the consequences of these choices. And so even more so he should be the one who recognizes he needs to give his full attention to this and not be divided, not be distracted."

Lee says by playing on his iPhone, Senator McCain suggests he already made up his mind going into the hearing. Yet on Wednesday, the Senator took a leadership role in passing an amendment which could potentially expand the United State's goals in Syria beyond simple retaliation for chemical weapons to helping the rebels fighting the Assad regime.

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