'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. Friedman

    McShame, its over!
    You lost again and again, and again....
    Go home, and rest..

    March 3, 2013 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  2. jon

    Not very original. These 2 used the same thing to hold up Kerry's nomination.

    March 3, 2013 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  3. Randy, San Francisco

    These two angry old white men of the Republican/Tea Paraty need some serious anger management counseling.

    March 3, 2013 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  4. rs

    Enough boys, your party is on fire because of your "do-nothing-for-America" attitudes. Don't throw gasoline on it.

    March 3, 2013 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  5. Deb in MT

    I am getting so sick of these two!

    It's totally obvious that McCain is still bitter about his 2008 loss, and that Graham is trying to avoid a TPer primary challenge from even further to the right. Senators Lyndsey and Crankypants should just get a room for their little pity party already, and let the rest of the country move along.

    March 3, 2013 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  6. Lobo

    More side show faux news pandering to clownish and buffoonish right wing mobs, aided and abetted by two of the gops most two vocal loser since well ever.

    March 3, 2013 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  7. Name lynn

    John is a devil an lindsey is a snake an they cant do nothing together. the devil vs a cobra they stupid.

    March 3, 2013 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  8. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    I think tha they are asking the wrong questions and demanding answers no one has. This seems foolish to me to hold up the nomination for this. Has Brennen testified on the subject? I think that he has on this.

    March 3, 2013 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |

    I hope CBS does not get fined for showing two boobs.

    March 3, 2013 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  10. Name

    It's all they have left

    March 3, 2013 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  11. Olavetta

    McCain is also waiting for answers about the U.S.S. Maine. Graham is wondering when McCain served on it.

    March 3, 2013 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  12. Iamnotfooled

    I think they should be hell-bent on finding out why John Wilkes Booth shot President Abraham Lincoln. Good -grief!
    America is wasting away. While it was very unfortunate these things happen. Move -on.

    March 3, 2013 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  13. jerryball

    Still no answer on where the WMDs in Iraq are and these old skanks want to know why Benghazi (a CIA operation) was hit by terrorists? Go fish.

    March 3, 2013 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  14. Woman In California

    "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."


    Here they go again. Always hell-bent on causing or stirring up trouble (where there is none). Neither Lindsey or his boyfriend John should be anywhere near the senate and neither represents the American people in good faith, but that's the base of the republican party. Troublemakers, cry babies and unAmerican terriorists. These bums need to go home permanently and retire.

    March 3, 2013 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  15. BlackUSAguy

    The three-amigos are at it again. Maybe the government can work better if the GOP and nut jobs like tea party members would just go away. McCain was a good man until he joined the far-right crazies. And Graham is a closet gay. He is upset because his boyfriend left him. McCain is still upset for losing in 2008. Give it up fellows, you are destroying the government and allowing us to be attack cause of your fighting the President. We are not watching our backs thanks to you GOP and nuts.

    March 3, 2013 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  16. Evergreen

    Graham and McCain bring to mind that old saying: There's no fool like an old fool.

    March 3, 2013 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  17. Name Chris

    Keep on them John and Lindsey we need this stuff answered

    March 3, 2013 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  18. Morecattlethanhat

    In the whole scheme of the Washington obstructionist society, none need to be voted out and replaced, more than the two pictured above. They've done nothing to further the cause of mankind in any way shape or form, and need to be placed in the file with obsolete printed on the top flap. The sooner the better.

    March 3, 2013 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  19. Joe Blake

    blah blah blah. Defense secretary blah blah blah. Illegal immigration blah blah blah. Budget cuts blah blah blah.

    March 3, 2013 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  20. Darla (Edmonton, Canada)

    To my American friends ... you need to vote these two out! They are an embarrassment to your country and to your democracy. Its really time to get over your infatuation with these two guys.

    March 3, 2013 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  21. abbydelabbey

    They continue to demonstrate that no matter who Obama nominates they'll say NO! Why? Well, McCain is proving to be a sore loser. Graham is just a opinionated, self-righteous ideologue. I would wager if Obama recommended Jesus Christ to be head of Health & Human Services they would object.

    They don't care about America - all they care about is power and undoing Obama and the Democrats no matter what.

    March 3, 2013 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  22. shawn foster

    Well, the senators need to look tough and relevant to fend off primary challenges from the party players in their states. Par for course, giving the appearance of due diligence to stay on the hill for one more election cycle. Hopefully they wield their power for good at points along the way.

    March 3, 2013 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  23. Larry L

    Arizona and South Carolina need to do the right thing and start a recall effort for McCain and Graham. They are essentially domestic terrorists determined to disrupt and destroy our federal government. Would your tolerate their behavior if the weren't white?

    March 3, 2013 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  24. Larry L

    We are looking at two "Swift-Boat" Captains – the skippers of the sinking Republican Party. It's these bigoted, hateful, lap-dogs for the right-wing who are bringing America to it's knees. Sad about McCain... He was once an American hero – but jealousy turned him into a bitter loser, still unable to accept the verdict of democracy.

    March 3, 2013 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  25. Mack

    It seems that "Pete and Repeat" are at it again. These two jerks need to give it a rest!

    March 3, 2013 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
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