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. samb

    "I'll block all nominations"
    "we'll shut down the government"
    "the debt ceiling won't cause default"
    No need to win elections, the gop has found a new way to highjack a democracy and govern as a minority. It's time the public wakes up and makes the gop pay for their obstructionist, destructive ideology. They are not helping America, they are merely promoting a self-serving ideology!

    October 29, 2013 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  2. watchfuliiiii

    Nice. Another one who thinks not doing anything is action and being part of the solution. Over a year later he has a perfect vision of the situation. We cant get this guy out of office fast enough.

    October 29, 2013 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  3. Rob

    I love this guy! Wish someone of his character would run for President!

    October 29, 2013 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  4. CLT

    Graham's attempt to derail Hillary 2016. LOL, they are running scared.

    Yes it was a tragic mistake, but look at all the tradic episodes that Bush/Cheney put us through and they squeeked by without trashing anyone, beside Scooty Libby.

    October 29, 2013 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  5. Michael F.

    I was going to point out that the photo of the capital building might have been more appropriately replaced with a photo of at tight, TIGHT sphincter once I'd read this article about Mr. Graham and his typical fifth-grade, 'I'm gonna hold my breath til I turn blue' histrionics, BUT—some of you guys' comments are FAR funnier.

    On that note—if he 'could see it coming'...why didn't he do anything about it?

    AND...if this had happened with ANY republican in the White House, he'd be as compliant as he was during then entire Iraq fiasco...

    October 29, 2013 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  6. Ralph

    It seems the only thing Republicans want to do is play like little kids on the play ground. Saying, if we don't play like I want to play, I'm taking my ball home and nobody's going to play. People are sick of the childish way our representatives act. It's time to clean house.

    October 29, 2013 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  7. BUD

    Did we send these people to congress to obstruct or what?

    October 29, 2013 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  8. allenwoll

    The current version of the GoP is exceedingly dangerous to America (BOTH Right & Left) and needs to be disbanded permanently.

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

    His search for the "truth" will continue until someone tells him what he wants to hear. Here's an idea for the asshat senator from South Carolina, let's waterboard the survivors til they tell you what you want to hear. (Here's a hint: tell him he's as cool as Ted Cruz...)

    October 29, 2013 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  10. Phil in KC

    Just when I thought Lindsay Graham was beginning to sound semi-reasonable, he makes a stupid statement like this one. Proves that he's just another obstructionist republican. He just has a different ax to grind than the tea party.

    October 29, 2013 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  11. Matt

    Still beating that dead horse Mr. Graham? And how selfish of you to try to put these families through this for your own political posturing. Disgusting!

    October 29, 2013 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  12. rs

    Hogan's Goat

    Lindsey Graham is helping kill the GOP. He's also hurting America. Some patriot.
    ________________________
    I cannot think of one GOPper that can be called a "patriot" even at some elementary level. They are just partisans, pure and simple, or worse- out for one last hit for themselves.

    October 29, 2013 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  13. Enigmatic1

    This is exactly the kind of backward thinking that causes problems and is the reason that Republican Ideology has no place in modern politics. We need to fill the post now, not when Lindsay Graham feels it should be filled. If he has a problem with the administration or it's responses to the attack in Benghazi, he can follow the appropriate channels and get the information he is entitled to.

    October 29, 2013 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  14. dean morse

    Senator Graham should have all the facts including how his party denied requests for increased security when it was requested. The GOP just loves to twist the truth for their own benefit in confusing the facts and bewildering the public.

    October 29, 2013 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  15. jimi

    I will do whatever it takes to destroy this nation to save it from that black man being in the white house. Graham was heard to say

    October 29, 2013 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  16. RF

    The party of NO lives on. STUPID!

    October 29, 2013 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  17. KBNJ

    "...some Republicans are choosing to play politics with this for partisan purposes and we find that unfortunate," Carney said. Uh, Jay, OBAMA played politics with the lives of our servicemen when he repeatedly suggested the attacks were the result of a 'protest gone bad', knowing full well it was a terrorist attack by A.Q. Mere days before the attack, at the Dem national convention, Obama told the world he had AQ on the run. BS.

    October 29, 2013 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  18. Joseph Rodgers

    rs

    Hogan's Goat

    Lindsey Graham is helping kill the GOP. He's also hurting America. Some patriot.
    ________________________
    I cannot think of one GOPper that can be called a "patriot" even at some elementary level. They are just partisans, pure and simple, or worse- out for one last hit for themselves.
    ---------------------------------------------------
    We can't lump all republicans together as obstructionist as there are some like Bob Corker who believe in small government and fiscal responsibility and control but won't hold the country hostage to get it done.

    October 29, 2013 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  19. Steve

    Next Graham will threaten to hit Obama with his purse.

    October 29, 2013 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  20. LIndseyMaam

    Playing to the Tea Party even after the last debacle. What a bunch of CRAP.

    October 29, 2013 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  21. FLGEEMAN

    He is furthering our cause to root out the GOP from our government in the next election !!!!!

    October 29, 2013 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  22. Anonymous

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

    You mean like 9/11????

    October 29, 2013 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  23. J. Olver

    The attack on the World Trade center was an al Qaeda planned attack that was foreseen by security advisors but the warnings were ignored by the administration of that time yet the government was not brought to a halt over that terrible error. The same could be said of the attacks in Lebanon during the Reagan years. The difference? The Presidents during those years were Republican and white.

    October 29, 2013 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  24. anchorite

    Does the GOP have any other tool in their belt besides wrecking everything until they get their way?

    October 29, 2013 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  25. BeRational

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

    You mean like 9/11???

    October 29, 2013 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
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