October 28th, 2013
05:10 PM ET
9 months ago

Obama nominees could be slowed over Benghazi concerns

Sen. Lindsey Graham will appear on "CNN's The Situation Room" Tuesday at 5pm

(CNN) - A top critic of the U.S. response to the terror attack on the Benghazi diplomatic compound said Monday that he would block all Obama administration nominees before the Senate until survivors of the deadly assault testify before Congress.

"I think the story was about the fact that our guys died in a different way than explained by the administration," Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina told Fox News on Monday following a dramatic CBS "60 Minutes" interview with a man described as a British security officer who witnessed last year's attack.

"They died as a result of an al Qaeda planned attack that you could see coming," Graham said.

The South Carolina Republican was an early skeptic of the administration's initial assessment the September 2012 attack in eastern Libya that killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans appeared to be the result of a demonstration over an anti-Muslim film produced in the United States.

Graham has pushed forcibly ever since to uncover details of what happened and why the administration appeared to bungle the response.

"Where are the survivors? Fourteen months later," Graham said. "The survivors, the people who survived the attack in Benghazi, have not been made available to the U.S. Congress for oversight purposes."

Graham said he would use Senate rules to stall approval of presidential nominees until he gets the testimony he wants.

"I'm gonna block every appointment in the United States Senate until the survivors are being made available to Congress. I'm tired of hearing from people on TV and reading about stuff in books. We need to get to the bottom of this," he said.

If Graham were to block a nominee, Democrats, who control the chamber, could make procedural moves to get around his objections. Doing so would require 60 votes to succeed.

An aide to Graham noted that the Senator previously blocked the nomination of John Brennan to head the CIA until the White House produced information on when President Barack Obama first contacted Libyan government officials about the attack.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said on Monday the administration has made "extraordinary efforts" to meet congressional demands for information about the attack.

"The State Department has worked in good faith to meet the Hill's many requests and will continue to review legitimate incoming requests. But let's be clear, some Republicans are choosing to play politics with this for partisan purposes and we find that unfortunate," Carney said. "What happened in Benghazi was a tragedy; it is the case that there was not adequate security."

An aide to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid had no reaction to Graham's threat or say how it might impact the Senate schedule.

The Senate is expected to take up several high-profile judicial appointments and other nominations in the near future.


Filed under: Lindsey Graham • Obama administration • Senate
soundoff (615 Responses)
  1. master guns

    So all you people are ok with the lies and miss-information on Benghazi that you have been fed? It is easier to live under a rock than think someone outside your party is right? Wow, I stay on perty lines but there are times that the truth must outweigh political associations....grow up people....there are bad guys out there

    October 29, 2013 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  2. jimranes

    Go ahead Lindsey and block all the nominees..where in hades were you when Bush initiated the "shock and awe" war of choice on non existent WMD? What about the 4,486 US soldiers who were killed in the Iraq war? What about the nearly 100,000 soldiers who were wounded? Where is your outrage? This past weekend, ten car bombs exploded in Iraq. It a freaking mess. Where is your partisan and sanctimonious outrage?

    October 29, 2013 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  3. Nicholas Rowley

    Sounds like you are catering to the tea party. you most certainly will have a Tea Party challenger in South Carolina next election Senator. Stop playing politics all of you morons in Washingtom and fix the problems of this nation. You should never be afraid of losing your job, if you are doing your job.

    October 29, 2013 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  4. t2vodka

    You know, if there is information that should be made known, then provide it, and fight for it. However, the new republican way of stopping government every chance they get is becoming a joke. Maybe if these clowns worried more about running the country then shooting each other down things would be better. I'm so sick of both parties, but especially the republican party right now.

    October 29, 2013 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  5. Sabeen A.

    I'm so ashamed this guy comes from my state...!

    October 29, 2013 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  6. Sarcastro

    Yes, let's please find more excuses to stop the government from functioning.

    Thanks GOP. Glad to know that if there's any chance of any sort of recovery you'll be there to stop it.

    October 29, 2013 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  7. rl

    Reagan or the gop were not at all concerned when the marines died in Beirut. They just considered it the start of the war for fun and profit.

    October 29, 2013 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  8. David Whynot

    Mr Graham, Demand all you want but I must ask you were is the request for an investigation into the killing of 241 US soldiers in 1983 when they were sent to Lebanon and all were put into one building without a good security system in place?

    October 29, 2013 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  9. Boo

    I'm still waiting for answers on the Iraq War. Lindsey Graham is another HYPOCRITE.

    October 29, 2013 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
  10. Exc

    Still ... Really? This GOP has "hearing-ed" us broke.

    October 29, 2013 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
  11. Dan

    It would have been nice if Mr. Graham was this enthusiastic when the tragedy of Iraq was happening.....he supported that?!

    The word hypocrite comes to mind.

    October 29, 2013 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  12. Dr Strangelove

    Sounds like another terrorist holding the country hostage making demands. The only way to get things done in this world.

    October 29, 2013 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  13. luckytwo

    Once AGAIN the party of no is going to help the economy by hold up appointments. Way to go.

    October 29, 2013 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  14. Republican_John_Brennan_heads_the_CIA

    Graham and the obstructionist repugnants just want to destroy the US.

    October 29, 2013 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  15. garwin1

    Must be coming to a congressional recess. GOP is worried about recess appointments.

    October 29, 2013 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  16. Chooch0253

    Golly. What else is new. That is all every single Republican in Congress has done for 5 years. Obstruct the government. They certainly have not earned any wages.

    October 29, 2013 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  17. tex

    grandstanding at its worst. stop. grow up.

    October 29, 2013 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  18. bigboxes

    I can't be the only one sick of these political games. It's tiresome and nauseating. It's the exact opposite as our founders planned for. 2014 cannot come soon enough. Time to throw the T-baggers out!

    October 29, 2013 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
  19. Larry282

    What a bunch of bozos. It's like the Republicans are all suffering from dementia. They just keep bringing up and going over the same stale news over and over. I guess their just too far gone to be redeemed. Send them all home permanently!

    October 29, 2013 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
  20. dnokc

    South Carolina's Tea is not strong enough. When Mr. Graham is replaced...it will be!

    October 29, 2013 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  21. Jason

    This is exactly the type of thing that makes Americans think Republicans are good for government. *rolls eyes*

    October 29, 2013 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  22. okiejoe

    I'm going to hold my breath and kick and scream until I get my way! Sounds juvenile to me too. Although, I've never known how you can hold your breath and scream at the same time.

    October 29, 2013 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  23. tv22

    Posters need to realize that Lindsay Graham is not a Tea Partier. Sorry if that doesn't fit your little narrative, but the Tea Party doesn't much like him. Second, the point is that the Senate won't take up any interest in Benghazi, even after the damning report on 60 Minutes.

    October 29, 2013 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  24. tim granger

    The Senate's failure to pass the majority of President Obama's appointments is a national disgrace.

    The Republikans have decided to prove their theory that government does not work by doing everything they can to prevent it from working.

    October 29, 2013 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  25. oharris30

    amazing the republicans were not this willful about other killings of ambassadors or consulates in other country during their control of the WH. What is so disgusting about this is Graham and other republicans are using this man's death to further their own political obstructions. He and the others who support this are disgusting. Let's go back and open all the other cases of these deaths. I am sick of these obstructionist. I wish the Supreme Court would intervene and get these idiots back to work. Meanwhile, we Americans are held hostage while the House continues their witch hunt regarding Benghazi and the Healthcare website. Neither is important as Americans getting back to work and taking care of families. Let's work on this infrastructure bill before all the bridges collapse in this country. Stop the partisan witch hunts.

    October 29, 2013 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
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