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. Richard Miller

    Yes the attack was tragic. However, when you are in a war zone. you have to expect the consequences and accept them. Graham really is the problem with congress. Perhaps you could take a junket with your whole staff and go fact finding in Benghazi. Maybe interview a few more folks that were involved. Maybe..........

    October 29, 2013 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  2. JD

    Graham is worthless as a Palin or Cruz! His pockets are full and he's got tons of cigars to smoke. He needs to go!!!

    October 29, 2013 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  3. Peter Gerdeman

    But did the good Senator do the same for the War in Iraq? Yes, that war, the war based on misrepresentations of WMD. But instead of 4 dead in Benghazi, it was 5.000 US dead, 100,000 Iraqis dead, 30,000 US wounded (many life-long injuries), and nearly $2 Trillion on the credit card for an 8 year war. That was supposed to be a 90 day war. Sen Graham is a hypocrite.

    October 29, 2013 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  4. Bootsie Randolph

    Do you think Graham is "doing the stupid" to draw fire from Ted Cruz, the great bronze hope of the Republican Party.?

    October 29, 2013 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  5. spudnik56

    Sen. Lindsey Graham...a walking, talking pop tart...

    October 29, 2013 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  6. Julian

    I thought they had already agreed to stop stalling nominees for a ton of concessions that the Dems gave them... i guess a man's word no longer means anything...

    October 29, 2013 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  7. BlackUSAguy

    Again, the closet gay senator is making noise because he is being challenge by his own party.

    October 29, 2013 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  8. raul c.

    Only in SC is where these kinds of nuts are born and raised. This guy is pathetic since he thinks that this Nation is built around him or else he'll lock it down. The GOP is getting crazier by the day.

    October 29, 2013 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  9. Robert N. constant

    Once again Republicans are using extortion as a political tool, attacking the smooth functioning of the Government unless they are given an opportunity to politicize an unrelated event. Anyone following Graham knows that he does not open his mouth without attacking the President with questions like "Does your mother know you beat your wife?"
    This political creature, Graham, must assume the American public is pretty stupid not to see through him. It was ideologues like him who brought about the Civil War, which in Graham's mind is still going on. Shame on such rift raft!

    October 29, 2013 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  10. Dr Z

    The new Republican Party–government shutdowns, near defaults on debt, obstruction of the functioning of government at every turn, and internal division. The current GOP-controlled House has set a record for getting the least done in our history. The GOP will not be getting my vote for any office.

    October 29, 2013 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  11. Rudy NYC

    gee wiz wow

    "They died as a result of an al Qaeda planned attack that you could see coming," Graham said.
    -------------
    "You lie!". You are lying, Senator. If you knew about it, then why didn't you do something about it.

    As I recall it was your buddy Sen. McCain who had secretly went to Benghazi and met with some folks. He wanted the U.S. to arm the rebels and some other lah-dee-dah. I've always wondered if the folks McCain met had any relationship to the folks who carried out the attack. Were they the same people? Did McCain give assurances to them that the U.S. didn't keep.

    October 29, 2013 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  12. Rick

    I see nothing has changed with the GOP. We are going to get our way or nothing gets done must be their new mantra. The Republicans in congress now are the poorest excuse this country has seen for leaders in the this generation. It is way past time for these old goats to be gone and replaced with real leaders that are ready to take on the real problems of this country instead of playing politics with everything that comes before them. Graham is just another old bigot whose time has come. He needs to be out to pasture, the sooner the better.

    October 29, 2013 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  13. GOP_R_Traitors

    Of course Graham (another republican traitor) will use his position (however fleeting it might be) to see that his political ends are met. I truly despise all republicans and will no longer capitalize the first letter of their name and see to it that I expunge as many of them from the face of the earth in my lifetime. They are the cancer that erodes our country.

    October 29, 2013 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  14. Robert N. constant

    It is sad that Once again Republicans are using extortion as a political tool, attacking the smooth functioning of the Government unless they are given an opportunity to politicize an unrelated event. Anyone following Graham knows that he does not open his mouth without attacking the President with questions like "Does your mother know you beat your wife?"
    This political creature, Graham, must assume the American public sleeping not to see through him.

    October 29, 2013 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  15. bill39

    Government by "hostage". Nice work, GOP.

    October 29, 2013 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  16. Eeboy

    In the immortal words of my hero Cleveland Brown: "Okay, enough of this bull-crap"!

    October 29, 2013 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  17. Not Too Hard To Understand

    Is there any bigger drama queen in the Senate that Lindsey Graham? Man, the guy is like a histrionic teenage girl. On the other hand, she is from the south and we all know how those southern belles can be.

    October 29, 2013 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  18. Jeff

    They block everything anyway. I am sick of republicans. If Obama played those games he could threaten not to sign anything unless ALL assault weapons are completely banned. I won't play ball unless I get my way is a game for stupid little kids. That's what I think of republicans....stupid little kids, and they need a nap.

    October 29, 2013 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  19. GottaBeKidding

    So what did he do when all those embassies were attacked under President Bush? NOTHING!!!!!

    October 29, 2013 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  20. Eeboy

    "And whats new about republicans blocking Obamas nominees?"

    What's new about them blocking everything?

    October 29, 2013 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  21. 2Km N of GZero

    It's all about Hillary 2016. How do I know? The GOP doesn't protest this much about casualties from other terrorist attacks.

    October 29, 2013 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  22. Renee

    Oh, look, another Republican threatening to shutdown a critical government process unless he has his way. Did they not learn anything over the past two months?!?!?!

    October 29, 2013 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  23. bigdicmcgee

    wow alot ppl with their heads buried in the sand... literally.... the state dept screwed this one up... the admin flat out lied about the "video"... I dont like the republicans either, PD51 and NSA spying started under their watch

    October 29, 2013 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  24. Hillcrester

    Graham seems to be competing with McCain (holder of the award–emeritus), Paul, and Cruz for the Cranky Senator Award.

    October 29, 2013 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  25. asdrel

    Another example of political blackmail by a GOP senator...

    October 29, 2013 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
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