'Hell-bent': Graham, McCain threaten to stall Brennan nomination over Libya
March 3rd, 2013
06:05 PM ET
5 years ago

'Hell-bent': Graham, McCain threaten to stall Brennan nomination over Libya

(CNN) - Republican Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham have vowed to hold up a full Senate vote on CIA Director nominee John Brennan until they get answers about the U.S. Consulate attack in Benghazi, Libya.

"I'm not going to vote on a new CIA director until I find out what the CIA did in Benghazi," Graham said Sunday on CBS's "Face the Nation."

After delaying a vote on Brennan twice, the Senate Intelligence Committee is scheduled to hold another vote on Tuesday.

Graham specifically wants to see the interviews of the survivors. While transcriptions were provided to the Senate Intelligence Committee - of which Graham is not a member - Graham said "everything was blacked out."

Graham and McCain have been leading voices on the charge against the administration over the attack, which killed four Americans, including the U.S. ambassador. Republican Sen. Rand Paul has also threatened to stall a vote, saying he wants an answer to the question of whether the president has the authority to order a drone strike against an American citizen in the United States.

For his part, Graham wants more information on why the initial talking points about the cause of the attack were changed. The CIA's original draft linked people associated with al Qaeda to the attack, but the final version changed al Qaeda to extremists.

The lawmakers have been unsatisfied with what they say is conflicting information from the administration about who was responsible for the change in the talking points, even though the CIA eventually said it changed them during interagency discussions to protect classified information and for legal reasons.

The White House provided members of the Senate Intelligence Committee access to the e-mails about the changes last week in the classified hearing room.

Graham, however, said there were still more questions about the role of the CIA and the FBI on the night of the attack.

"I think John (McCain) and I are hell-bent on making sure the American people understand this debacle called Benghazi," he said. "The FBI and the CIA never talked for weeks. We're going back to the pre-9/11 model."

McCain, meanwhile, said he hasn't received answers from Brennan for nearly three weeks.

"I hate to threaten. We hate to … Why don't we just get the answers to these questions? They're not tough questions," McCain said, adding that he has his own questions about torture.

Asked again if the two senators plan on holding up the nomination until their demands are met, McCain said they "deserve the answers."

"I think again, it's our responsibility on advise and consent to get answers to questions about nominees to important positions," McCain said.

- CNN's Pam Benson contributed to this report.

Filed under: CIA • John McCain • Libya • Lindsey Graham
soundoff (54 Responses)
  1. Kenny

    I agree completely. While we are at it, can we find out who precisely lied about WMD's in Iraq that got so many Americans killed, far more than Benghazi, and cost so much money? I think these guys are on to something here...do they know anything about the JFK assassination? Just curious...

    March 3, 2013 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  2. elise flowers

    Why r these 2 old angry men so vindictive?

    March 3, 2013 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  3. mdn

    McInsane and Graham should get married. They are a cute couple.

    March 3, 2013 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  4. Name

    Who cares what happened in Libya....ppl die everyday

    March 3, 2013 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  5. Tampa Tim

    These two really need to get a room.

    March 3, 2013 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  6. nintex

    This is getting really, really old, senators. To keep harping on something that's already been answered to most people's satisfaction is just a sign that you two have ganged up and want to keep harassing the President, for no other reason than to harass him, to the glee of your audience – the tea people and the foxies. The rest of us are getting a little tired of it.

    March 3, 2013 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  7. Hellbent on destruction

    these two are hellbent on destroying our country. Put doubt in the minds of the world about our Sec of Defense and now our new CIA director??? All because you refuse to hear the truth already told to you? Pretty un-american of both of them.

    March 3, 2013 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  8. Namerich

    Everyone should want to stop any action of the unknown event of begazi atack. If nouthing has beed found then how can somthing ve fixed. This entire administraion will be eventually inpeached for nor having anything but negitive effects on everything there is and i think mcain should be in whitehoues seat. To put it clearly there should be a revote on the first elect obama years and put the person who beat fit camander and chief in place JOHN MCAIN

    March 3, 2013 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  9. Gurgyl

    Politics??? Pathetic

    March 3, 2013 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  10. Martha in CF

    I think the American people deserve an explanation on the debacle in Iraq. There were many unnecessary deaths attributed to that war and what for??????????

    March 3, 2013 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  11. Alan

    Bitter and spiteful McCain will NEVER, NEVER, NEVER get over having lost to President Obama in 2008.

    March 3, 2013 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  12. gramma nance

    WHEN are these 2 old farts going to just shut-up? I'm sick of seeing and hearing them!

    March 3, 2013 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  13. steve

    Mr. Bob and Howdy Doody are taking a hostage again. This would be laughable except when you think that we are paying good money for their services. Why don't they just hire Sheriff Joe to satisfy their hell-bent political needs.

    March 3, 2013 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  14. HonestDave

    Where was all this concern for truth when we invaded Iraq? These guys must not have anyone who loves them enough to tell them they look like a couple of fools. Still, they waste the govenments time and money chasing information that may or may not exist, so they can get some face time and still feel relevent.. It's kinda sad to watch, McCain but the other guy is a bag of crap and needs to go ASAP, ya'll listening SC!

    March 3, 2013 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  15. blueboycott

    Silly senators, don't you know Benghazi was Bush's fault too?

    March 3, 2013 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  16. Joe

    Incredible, really! Will McCain ever get over losing? For god sake, it's not like he has good judgment anyway; he picked Palin as a running mate...holy crap, and he thinks we are going to listen to him?

    March 3, 2013 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  17. mark

    The senator from Arizona is A coward and a collaborator from the Vietnam war . And ought to go back to his real country north vietnam

    March 3, 2013 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  18. never to vote republican again

    Get a life you two or a room!

    March 3, 2013 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  19. Joe Smith

    Personally, I don't think they're interested in the truth, because they've already decided what that is. They're going to keep stalling everything they can until they get the answers that they want to hear. Why don't they just tell us what they think happened, hope that we believe it, then shut up and go away?

    March 3, 2013 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  20. bill

    Here we go again, over the hill gang found something else to do and get their mag shot on the news.

    March 3, 2013 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  21. Republicans Are The American Taliban

    McCain should demand to know why the fence he promised to build around Arizona in the 2010 election hasn't been finished yet!

    March 3, 2013 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  22. ECM

    McCain and Graham are behaving like lunatics, where were these two when more than 6,000 Americans were killed during the Bush/Cheney administration?

    March 3, 2013 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  23. Mrs. Johnson

    I send my belated condolences for the four lives that were lost, but I cannot understand why these senators want to throw tantrums and hold up the confirmation of qualified people thereby allowing millions of American citizens to experience a decline in the economy by not focusing on getting the fiscal issues in order.

    March 3, 2013 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  24. michael

    How many times are these two clowns going to, stall an nomination, bill, program, the economy, recovery, Obama's toliet paper, Obama's kaopectate, Obama's colonoscopy, Obama's prostate exam, or Obama's hemerroidectomy. These two neocon conservtive twits are true representatives of the out of date dinasour repuglicans and tee baggers. GOOD FOR DOING NOTHING OR DOING NOTHING OR WANTING EVERYTHING!

    March 3, 2013 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  25. CAWinMD

    They already have the answers, they just don't like them. Put the posturing aside, and let's get on with it.

    March 3, 2013 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
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