October 28th, 2013
05:10 PM ET
6 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. mike electrician

    Well my next trip to DC, I will skip the Smithsonian, the Monuments, the White House, the Supreme Court, the Congress, and just visit the tent with Sen Graham sitting behind a crystal ball and a deck of cards and get my palm read.

    October 29, 2013 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  2. William

    I just love everyone's opinion. There is no person or entity in this country that's perfect and this country is daily being destroyed by everyone of us.how pathetic.

    October 29, 2013 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  3. Carla Hurst-Chandler

    Because apparently getting NOTHING accomplished is the MO of the GOP now...

    October 29, 2013 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  4. Freedom

    The best you can do is to still blame Bush? Hey, just like the dems. blame someone else,and take no accountability! Do you people ever take responsibility for anything? Maybe getting a job and providing for your family, or maybe paying for your own health insurance? Nah, its always someone elses job to take care of those things.why should you be accountable? Dont be, thats ok, but you are whats wrong with this country! No accountability!

    October 29, 2013 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  5. William

    This goverment and we americans are so pathetic.

    October 29, 2013 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  6. Zaphod

    Graham and the Republicans do not care about the survivors, their families, or the families of the fallen. They want to trot them out in the hopes of trying to get the smallest nugget that they think might sick for impeachment. Just ask Paula Jones what happens when they don't get what they want.

    October 29, 2013 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  7. sergio

    It is one reason to denied reelection to Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, quoting the longstanding tradition of many Native American tribes "speaks with a forked tongue" means to deliberately say one thing and mean another or, to be hypocritical, or act in a duplicitous manner, lying, and a person was no longer considered worthy of trust,

    October 29, 2013 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  8. Fred Evil

    Obstructionist politics, all the GoP has left.

    October 29, 2013 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  9. Religious Guy

    Republicans should ensure govt. functions instead of blocking work to investigate unrelated past. I am fully on-board when it comes to investigating what actually happened in Benghazi. But this is not the way to do it. Lindsey Graham is a shame.

    October 29, 2013 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  10. ireuel

    Tom in Pitt. Laughable? Really. The President bomb Libya to remove a Dictator, then he went back on the Campaign trail and didn't want to KNOW or hear anything about a country he just bombed. Why would you disrupt a country then leave Americans undefended and zero back up team in place to save them in a country you just disrupted. Should of never bombed/droned the place in the first place. It was not a National Security Issue in the first place. Then I see the Ted Cruz people whining about a person that was right about Obama-scare, in the first place. Do you people read the news or do you just sit in your public service offices and write hateful things about other Americans.? Get over it the President is wrong and he doesn't even KNOW it. Get it "KNOW". To KNOW or not to KNOW, that is the question. Well he better start Knowing things, he is the CEO of the whole Government. Seriously, died Americans, Really. Tom in Pitt Sad No one has been arrested no one has held responsible and no one has been allow to ask the ones in theater what happen that night. But a guy that made a Video and was blamed for this is still in jail. Laughable is the all not KNOWING President of this country.

    October 29, 2013 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  11. Michael Sawyer

    He is not going to block every appointment. That would require him to do something.

    October 29, 2013 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  12. Kody

    This is such a pointless cause, serving only to further stall government procedure. The attacked happened, and maybe senator Graham is unaware, but Al Qaeda is paying for this and the rest of their attacks world-wide in the wake of our predator drone strikes. His sole purpose is to simply make make the Democrats look bad.

    October 29, 2013 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  13. Big J

    It's obvious he's running for reelection.

    October 29, 2013 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  14. Lord Toronaga

    So no to Yellen also. I've had quite enough of that ilk running the banks and financial systems in our country.

    October 29, 2013 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  15. Keane

    Senator Graham voted NO on implementing the 9/11 Commission report. (Mar 2007)

    October 29, 2013 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  16. Debbie

    Hey, what about those "weapons of mass destruction"? How many appointments did you block then? Way more people were killed because of that.

    October 29, 2013 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  17. Gary D.

    NO MORE OBSTRUCTION OF GOVERNMENT!

    ..........The people have spoken through the polls!

    October 29, 2013 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  18. jboh

    This is what the TEA trash has brought us to. Intimidation by $ from robber barons, greedy corporations, and those who wish to bring back the company store. Graham is a cowardly weasel, like the rest of the primary scared GOP. TEA won't be happy until they crash the whole world's economy, and bringing back serfdom for ALL working people. Sweep the slime into history's garbage dump before it's too late.

    October 29, 2013 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  19. CJ

    Does anyone notice a pattern here? Whenever a Republican is President there is nothing but hate and venum in many of the Democratic circles and whenever a Democrat is President the exact same thing happens. If you ask me, This crap started when Clinton was President and continued with Bush and continued with Obama as well.

    We need more moderates in this nation because I think anyone way off to the right or way off to the left does not have views that benefit the nation as a whole. Some of the crap I read makes me shake my head.

    October 29, 2013 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  20. onlymho

    subpoena General Ham – for who ordered the stand down

    October 29, 2013 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  21. Thinker

    How is that any different than what the Republicans have been doing since 2008? The appropriate method of congressional investigations is by committees. Why should the American people suffer because the Republicans are pouting? Do they really think the President had foreknowledge of Bengaz? Did George Bush have foreknowledge of 9/11/2001 of course not. Stop the idiocy and get America working

    October 29, 2013 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  22. NJT

    It's hilarious how many uninformed people think that only Republicans do this! Take the state of NJ as an example. The NJ Supreme court is supposed to be 7 members, yet at this time there are only 4, yes FOUR, justices because the liberal Democrat legislature will not even vote on Chris Christie's appointees. Once he wins reelection next week the Chief Justice will be the next on the chopping block next summer and we will be down to 3 permanent justices.

    By not voting on Christie's appointees, the choice for temporary justices goes to the DEMOCRAT Chief Justice. Hmmmm....can anyone tell me what kind of storm would have brewed had Republicans been able to completely block any appointees by Obama to the US Supreme Court and instead had temporary justices appointed by John Roberts???

    So for all the idiots that say this is a Republican way of doing things, pull your heads out.

    October 29, 2013 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  23. Dom

    The issue here is Obama hid the truth about this attack so that he could claim he had a strong record preventing terrorism to get re-elected. this should be a big deal to everyone – even liberals – because this sets a very bad precedence for future presidents. I think a special prosecutor should be assigned to determine if Obama should be impeached. And BTW – I voted for Obama….

    October 29, 2013 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  24. Eric Jones

    I get so disenchanted by all the negative comments. Rarely does anyone post possible solutions or take ownership of any issue these days, it is all about the other person's (or party's) faults. Good leadership and constructive criticism are two common sense approaches to solving our country's problems. Slamming your opponent as in today's news and blogs only serves to perpetuate the stalemate. We the people are responsible for leading our government down the path that provides positive outcomes, not second guessing past decisions with ruthless abandon. A monkey can second guess better than even some of the posts I read these days. Wake up and start trying to make a difference rather than beating the dead horses from yesterday.

    October 29, 2013 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  25. John Mann

    Way to go Lindsey – taking your marching orders from faux news. Traitor.

    October 29, 2013 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25