October 28th, 2013
05:10 PM ET
1 year 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. Charles

    Just more of the same. When will the red states wise up?

    October 29, 2013 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  2. DR

    Do we expect anything from Washington? It's too bad we can't simply fire the whole bunch of them and start over.

    October 29, 2013 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  3. Hugh_Mann

    'You could see 9/11 coming, too',,,as in Bush was warned by several agencies and the previous Administration.....did he stop it, or was he in on it with his Saudi "family"

    October 29, 2013 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  4. Bring it back!

    Bring back the full rules of the filibuster, make it so they have to tell America just why they're holding things up, other than a personal grudge....

    October 29, 2013 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  5. Texasmike

    More of the same from the Repubican'ts. They seem to have a problem with losing and also seem to keep on doing the things which highlight their stupid obstructionist partisanship bull, which magnifies their losses even more.

    October 29, 2013 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  6. Ron in SC

    Why am I not surprised! More obstructionism! Well, I guess that is their only option since they have no ideas, solutions or a reputation. The only strategy they have is to obstruct, spread lies and hatred and destroy this country. All they have is a slash and burn objective no matter who it hurts.

    October 29, 2013 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  7. Jimh77

    Must have been the NSA was too busy monitoring Germany's Chancellor and spying on average Americans to watch the terrorists attack Benghazi. SO much for them preventing terror. They rather just read other peoples personal emails and listen in on personal conversations than what they were supposed to be doing. SHUT THEM DOWN!

    October 29, 2013 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  8. Dave - Phx

    Who the hell cares about Benghazi? NO ONE!

    October 29, 2013 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  9. Republicans Are The American Taliban

    Why doesn't Lindsay Graham send in Donald Trumps team of investigators for answers? I bet they will find amazing things there too!

    October 29, 2013 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  10. Siestasis

    Graham will do anything to save his political career. Loser.

    October 29, 2013 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  11. fedUp

    With all the obstructionist against Obama, and believe me I am not real happy with his results either, I think he should just give the GOP what they want, resign and give them Biden to deal with. Wouldn't that be a hoot!! LOL.

    Seriously though, if these obstructionist get re-elected then the American people have no one t blame but themselves!! IN fact the peple of ther states should repeal ther office to rid themselves of the embarassment these obstructionist are causing thei state and Americans in general.

    October 29, 2013 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  12. gladiatorgrl

    Do we expect anything else from the Treasonous party? Their scorched earth policies because they can't win a national election has really crossed the line.

    October 29, 2013 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  13. Joi Gibson

    And how is blocking nominations supposed to help? All it does is create more gridlock. One has nothing to do with the other. Is Senator Graham reneging on the deal that was made last year (or early this year) regarding nominations? Can these folks govern without all the drama!!!

    October 29, 2013 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  14. Goodbye G.O.P.

    Thank you, Ms. Graham, for doing what we Democrats have struggled for so very long to do: Relegate the Republican party to the history books.

    October 29, 2013 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  15. Laurie

    This guy thinks stopping the proper functioning of the government is a responsible way to operate? Well – his party also thought that shutting down the government (and costing the US ecomony billions in the process, not to mention the loss of financial stability in International markets) was a GOOD idea. Not sure about everyone else here, but I'm not sure the US can take any more of the Republican's "good ideas"...

    October 29, 2013 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  16. BigD

    Treasonous GOP needs to go away. Do your job!

    October 29, 2013 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  17. charles

    The learned senator would also be concerned that many Americans will suffer from his reckless actions. Politicians are missing out so many points regarding as to how a normal government would be functioning's. Blocking all government appointees will not solve anything. They are hurting the American people. I have no doubt why the country has so many problems. Many just want to make political statements. Blocking a nominee, because there is no abortion language in a bill. We all agree that there should be a through investigation as how and why we lost life, but blocking the proper functioning of government is not the best way to go. God bless America.

    October 29, 2013 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  18. Susan

    Where the republican outrage in the first 9/11? Hearings were not held until years later and nothing came from them as they were all a sham.

    October 29, 2013 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  19. Patrick

    Were there embassy people killed in the past? Yes. Were any of those deaths blamed on a movie? No. Do you not see the difference?

    It was an election year and Obama and his people did not want any bad press about Obama. After all Obama had already said that the terrorists were on the run. This terrorist attack would say otherwise.

    October 29, 2013 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  20. VoteForPedro

    Well, we can put Graham's name on the list of GOP troublemakers, who need to be voted-out and retired. Cruz, Graham, Paul, Rubio.....

    October 29, 2013 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  21. FrmerMrine

    Now there's a true American. Block everything!

    October 29, 2013 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  22. DCKeene

    Funny that the picture of the Capital has a stop light with the green light on...when this is a prime example of how some in Congress are trying to stop (red light) appointments. Good one CNN. I like the play-on pic with the story. Congress is a joke.

    October 29, 2013 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  23. Scott

    Then gee, I guess we should have been blocking all appointments since...President Bush given that he too lied to the American people when he had been fully informed in advance that there were airplane missile attacks planned on the US. The only differences is that it was on...US soil and killed in excess of...3000 Americans. But under Graham's standards, that...was okay. We must get to the bottom of this ever so important Benghazi incident though.

    October 29, 2013 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  24. RickN

    The republicans will do anything to avoid having to govern. I'd like to know the truth as well but bringing government business to a standstill is getting pretty old. Can you imagine of Obama, when he was elected in 2009, said the Dems weren't going to do anything until there was a full investigation of all of the attacks on U.S. compounds during Bush's 8 years? Or rendition? Or torture? Or invading Iraq? Or nation building in Afghanistan? Or whether tax cuts for the rich helped the middle class? Or, or, or, or. We could have had 8 years of nothing passed by Congress if the dems so decided. It's fine seeking the truth but at what cost? What is their end game? To impeach Obama? That'll help the country? President Biden?

    October 29, 2013 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  25. edpeters101

    I would expect nothing less from the Senator from South Carolina! Sounds like another Sen. who wants to lead the House GNOP!

    October 29, 2013 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
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