Washington (CNN) – President Barack Obama's nominees for secretary of defense and CIA director could be held up by Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham unless the White House provides more information about its response to September's attack on an American diplomatic post in Libya.
The South Carolina lawmaker made the threat Sunday on CBS, using the phrase "no confirmation without information" in vowing to put a hold on the nominations of both John Brennan and Chuck Hagel unless the Obama administration provides more information about the Benghazi attack.
"I don't think we should allow Brennan to go forward with the CIA directorship, Hagel to be confirmed for secretary of defense, until the White House gives us an accounting," Graham said. "Did the president ever pick up the phone and call anyone from the Libyan government to help these folks? What did the president do?"
Previously, Graham had vowed to put a hold on Hagel's nomination unless outgoing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta testified before Congress on the Benghazi attacks. Panetta testified last week before the Senate Armed Services Committee, saying that without direct warning or advance intelligence of the September 11, 2012, attack, there was no way for the military to respond in time.
Graham, along with other Republicans, has also criticized the Obama administration's immediate response to the attack, particularly the appearance of U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice less than a week later on Sunday talk shows, where she blamed the attack on anger generated by an anti-Muslim video.
Rice has explained her remarks as derived from administration talking points, which Graham said Sunday had not yet been sufficiently explained.
"I want to know who changed the talking points. Who took the references to al Qaeda out of the talking points given to Susan Rice? We still don't know," said Graham, who specified that he would not filibuster the nominees, but rather hold them up until more information is disclosed.
Sen. John McCain, a close Republican ally of Graham's in the Senate, said Monday he would not support a filibuster of Hagel, which would be unprecedented for a president's Cabinet nominee.
National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor said Sunday in response to Graham's comments that the White House believes "the Senate should act swiftly to confirm John Brennan and Sen. Hagel. These are critical national security positions, and individual members shouldn't play politics with their nominations."
CNN's Kevin Bohn contributed to this report.