October 28th, 2013
05:10 PM ET
10 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. Lucky18

    We all thank Mr. Graham for being a "cog in the wheel" for prosperity. Seems like that's the only thing Republicans know how to do...Stop progress!!!

    October 29, 2013 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  2. obawendon

    Typical Hypocrite! What a jerk, king size. The Republicans said they would stop blocking these nominations, they also had promised thru John Boehner NOT to shutdown the government. The people who died in Benghazi are gone. Let them rest in peace instead of trying to further one idiot senators political agenda. The Republicans refused to allow the funds necessary to protect our outposts such as Benghazi, so Senator Graham, just SHUT UP!

    October 29, 2013 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  3. Logic

    I think it is time to hold these grandstanding windbags accountable for their actions. I will not be buying any products made in, nor spending any money visiting districts who are represented by these recalcitrant numbskulls. This includes anything to do with Texas if known. Until people living in these districts wise up and elect responsible parties, I am voting with MY pocketbook.

    October 29, 2013 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  4. G

    The Honorable Senator is a fraud, canard, and nasty small minded partisan. I wrote him about he’ll block any nominee. How’s that for making government work better? I wrote his office and received a robo-auto written response. He was amazing silent on Weapons of Mass Destruction, revision to Medicare, and offered nothing to an alternative to ACA. The only thing we who oppose him can do is contribute to candidates you run against him and put this small man out to pasture – where he will enjoy a handsome retirement and health benefits on our dime. He is a good example of Orwell’s Animal Farm – some are more equal than others.

    October 29, 2013 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  5. Jackson

    Gee, more obstruction. Who would have guessed?

    I wonder if the cabinet post vacancies will play out like the ACA played out:

    Oct 2008: "You'll never get elected and pass healthcare."
    Nov 2008: "We'll never let you pass healthcare."
    Jan 2009: "We're gonna shout you down every time you try to pass healthcare."
    July 2009: "We'll fight to death every attempt you make to pass healthcare."
    Dec 2009: "We will destroy you if you even consider passing healthcare."
    March 2010: "We can't believe you just passed healthcare."
    April 2010: "We are going to overturn healthcare."
    Sept 2010: "We are going to repeal healthcare."
    Jan 2011: "We are going to destroy healthcare."
    Feb 2012: "We're gonna elect a candidate who'll revoke healthcare NOW."
    June 2012: "We'll go to the Supreme Court, and they will overturn healthcare."
    Aug 2012: "American people'll never re-elect you-they don't want healthcare."
    Oct 2012: "We can't wait to win the election and explode healthcare."
    Nov 2012: "We can't believe you got re-elected & we can't repeal healthcare."
    Feb 2013: "We're still going to vote to obliterate healthcare."
    June 2013: "We can't believe the Supreme Court just upheld healthcare."
    July 2013: "We're going to vote like 35 more times to erase healthcare."
    Sept 2013: "We are going to leverage a government shutdown into defunding healthcare."
    Oct 2013: "WHY AREN'T YOU NEGOTIATING???

    October 29, 2013 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  6. onlymho

    Hillary Clinton on Gaddafi: "We Came, We Saw and He Died, Hahaha" (Oct 24, 2011) .................................................. It is all her fault

    October 29, 2013 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  7. Anonymous

    So it's Lindsey Graham's turn at the microphone

    October 29, 2013 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  8. rs

    Senator Graham:
    1. It may not have occured to you, but it is this sort of behavior that has Americans believing the GOP is a "threat" to America
    2. That this behavior is why the GOP has a 26%approval rating
    3. That it is perfectly obvious the GOP attempted to cause America to default on its financial obligations- your circus won't make us forget that
    4. You, sir, and your party are little tin-pot revolutionaries- you are incredibly lucky to not be in jail or before a firing squad for your continual anti-government, anti-American behavior (perhaps that is "American exceptionalism"- we allow creep like you to stay out of jail, and wreck your brand)

    October 29, 2013 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  9. William Jakes

    Democrats and Republicans once again trying to "one-up" the other while creating a more pristine image for themselves... for some reason, I'm not surprised...

    October 29, 2013 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  10. Gary

    Yes, by all means, just what the US needs more obstructionism. I guess the shut down wasn't enough and the GOP wants to make sure their implosion dismantles the party 150%.

    No Half Measures here... All Full Measures with a face off. Breaking Bad would be proud.

    October 29, 2013 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  11. James

    You guys wish Obama never the President, you running after and distracting him for his work just as foreign diplomats at the end he's the one to be blame. when bush was in power doing absolutely nothing but fight, he was a good guy. what kind of hatred is this? am not an American but this is too much to handle.

    October 29, 2013 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  12. Bill

    If you can take a short break from bashing the GOP, please answer a few questions. Who gave the order to stand down and not mount a rescue? Who made up the story about the anti-muslim film? Don't you want to hear the people who survived the attack testify? What are you afraid of?

    October 29, 2013 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  13. Patrick in Wisconsin

    Dude, that happened over a year ago and Americans stopped giving a crap around the same time. Give it up. It'd be much more productive focussing on your dismal prospects for that pesky thing called the midterm election in a year...

    October 29, 2013 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  14. OCCUPY WALLSTREET FOREVER

    I'd respect this guy if he took a stand against all the American citizens dying daily from "preventable" diseases if caught early because they lack adequate healthcare.

    These republicans are political clowns.

    October 29, 2013 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  15. Jon

    Graham needs to get his sorry queeny ass outta the closet and be a man. He is a a self -hating gay and everyone knows it but don't talk about it. He is a traitor to all American gays as as a traitor to his people needs to be treated as traitors have been historically been treated the world over.....................

    October 29, 2013 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  16. ART

    What is wrong with these red neck red dumb states Rethuglicans, They really do not know how to govern, all they know is how to say no. How does that benefit us as a country, its like biting off your nose to spite your face . they really are incompetent

    October 29, 2013 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  17. John Mann

    If Lindsey would just come out of the closet, he wouldn't feel the need to act like a tough guy all the time.

    October 29, 2013 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  18. Larry in Houston

    OMG !! Lindsey !! You need to pipe down on the same 'ol rhetoric !! LOL – You are hurting your party...You need to do what the newtster has done.....get off from the rove math news channel.... and stay on where it is truly fair & balanced...CNN

    October 29, 2013 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  19. DavidInNC

    What happened in Benghazi was tragic, but so was 911. I don't remember Graham or any other republicans calling for an investigation into GW's handling of that situation. If the gop wants to continue playing games in Washington, then they need to be sent home for good. We, as a nation have pressing problems that need attention.

    October 29, 2013 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  20. Mike the patriot

    Linsat Graham you are a disgrace to the state of South Carolina. You are selling out the people who elected you to help illegal aliens take over our nation. YOU ARE A TRAITOR AND SHOULD BE REMOVED FROM OFFICE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    October 29, 2013 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  21. Hogan's Goat

    Lindsey Graham is helping kill the GOP. He's also hurting America. Some patriot.

    October 29, 2013 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  22. Bruce Eder

    None of us cares anymore - I voted for the bastard in the White House in two elections, and I've got to admit, the administration has lied and shaded the truth too many times. And if I feel this way, you can bet a lot of the rest of the public does too - Obama is on its own as far as the public going out of its way to back him, till he leaves office.

    October 29, 2013 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  23. tony

    Time to use the second amendment against the people it's really meant to protect us from.

    October 29, 2013 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  24. BRC

    Here's a thought. The people who survived the assault on the embassy, SURVIVED AN ASSAULT ON AN EMBASSY. they were isolated in a very hostile area, under direct attack from people with obviously lethal intentions, and they got to watch their co-workers (and very likely friends) be killed in the process. Leave them alone. If they want to talk to you, they will come forward on there own. AS was stated, security was insufficient, both sides have agreed to that, so let's let the people who made it out have their own time and space, instead of dragging them through recounting a traumatic event that they probably feel lucky to survived so you can continue to violently beat at a long dead political horse.

    October 29, 2013 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  25. MaryM

    Another Senator Graham crap shoot. Will Americans PLEASE vote these obstructionist out of office now

    October 29, 2013 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
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