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. Evergreen

    O.k. This is what probably happened. A group of individuals were plotting an attack but was waiting for the right moment. The demonsrations against the film provided that opportunity as security forces would be distraction. Sound plausible?

    October 28, 2013 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  2. Don in albuquerque

    When all else fails...Stand back, stamp your little feet, shake your fists at heaven and scream BENGHAZZZZI!!! While you ignore the thousands of other graves this country has filled for little if any reason.

    October 28, 2013 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  3. Marie MD

    Jobs, jobs, jobs.
    The teaklans need to have a hearing about the ethics violation of their new foreign canadisn leader who is blocking the FCC appointment to make sure millionaires run our country not the people's vote.
    Hands OFF Medicare and social security!"

    October 28, 2013 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  4. Eagle Man

    Obama ! Dude - your lame duck session started after Republicrat crazies cut a deal on the debt ceiling.

    October 28, 2013 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  5. Pete

    Graham would have done so with or without Benghazi; it's just another excuse for not playing well with others.

    October 28, 2013 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  6. edwardjs007

    While I don't agree with the Senator. I would like to point out:
    The Admin says they did not respond militarily because they're were no military resources close enough to be of any use. The attackers DID NOT know this. I think a few low level Sonic Booms would have scared the hell out the attackers and made them think troops were Imminent. And could have scared/halted the Attacks. They didn't even try that is very sad...

    October 28, 2013 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  7. fed up

    Typical lib gibberish. Their guy does no wrong. Dem good,GOP Bad, Blah, Blah Blah

    October 28, 2013 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  8. ib1sage

    If Lindsey could "see it" why did he not stop it instead of voting down vital funds for national security. HYPOCRITE!!!

    October 28, 2013 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  9. ib1sage

    If Lindsey is so outraged, why did he vote to deny funds for the various programs including security? And if anyone could see it coming, why did he not stop it. More GOP BS in order to create another distraction as to why they are not helping to create jobs.

    October 28, 2013 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  10. America, our country is bankrupt...cut the spending

    This is a good start for the GOP. The Administration has been less than forthcoming. Jay Carney is a paid LI*R. It all appears to be a late night 2 am meeting between Hillary and Obama that determined these guys would just need to die rather than interrupt the beauty sleep of Obama and Hillary.

    October 28, 2013 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  11. Faux Scandals

    Now we know why South Carolina is always at the bottom.

    October 28, 2013 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  12. dnokc

    You mean it wasn't a movie? Ms. Clinton will be crushed! Anyway...what does it matter?

    October 28, 2013 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  13. Bob

    Lindsey, thought of you tonight when I saw the real confederate flag. Rather ironic that you all surrendered under a white flag, isn't it?

    October 28, 2013 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  14. navaJohn

    The Republican party needs to change in a major way. Their constant obstructionism, even when it clearly shows them to be hypocrites is really, REALLY starting to stink.

    October 28, 2013 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  15. Dan

    What blatant hypocrisy.Graham voted to cut funding for embassy security.Conservatives have dirt on their own hands concerning Benghazi.

    October 28, 2013 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  16. jdun

    Is Lindsay up for reelection again? He goes on these rants from time to time to appeal to the far right conspiracy folks. He will probably follow through this time to get some ink and tea party attention. Think Ted Cruz will be impressed?

    October 28, 2013 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  17. keven

    Where was this guy when Bush invaded Iraq for WMD's?
    Could have save THOUSANDS of lives!
    Oh wait, Bush was GOP, that makes it OK

    October 28, 2013 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  18. Grego

    Ol' Yeller -It's same old spin by you and your ilk. The fact remains that when Bush left office there were still tons of appointments that the Dem's wouldn't confirm. Two way street, buddy.

    October 28, 2013 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  19. revolting peasant

    Talk about beating a dead horse. The GOP is typically really good at talking points and the way the resonate with the public. They must know that they are not winning anyone over to Benghazi. I get it, they need to keep this alive as it is ammo against Hillary, but I doubt it will win them any votes from liberals or independents.

    October 28, 2013 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  20. allenwoll

    .
    Oh, GoPers/TPtys/MiniCONs ! ! - Puleeze continue to act as li'l juvie delinquents and ensure further Demo Victories in 2014 & 2016.
    .
    Keep up your EXCELLENT, effective work ! ! ! . ( Have the Demos somehow hi-jacked you ? ? )

    October 28, 2013 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  21. Gunner

    This administration is not responsible for anything for the past five years.Bush is still causing all the problems from Texas.If you can't do anything but make excuses for all your failures then you are truly a failure.

    October 28, 2013 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  22. Joyce

    Is it really partisan to want to know what happened in Benghazi, as far as who knew what and when, and what they considered doing about it, what they were able to do, and what they weren't able to do....a timeline perhaps.

    Is there really an investigation going on? Do the Dems and Obama agree with Hillary when she said "What difference does it make"?

    I would think all Americans would want to know, regardless of party affiliation.

    October 28, 2013 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  23. Winston Smith

    More political posturing. It's going to be like this from now till hell freezes over.

    October 28, 2013 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  24. James Klimaski

    I want Sen Graham to dig up President Reagan and hold him accountable for the death of 265 Marines in the Beirut bombing back in 1987. Graham feels he needs to push the Benghazi incident to enhance his reelection. Nothing more.

    October 28, 2013 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  25. Blue

    Graham you have been away from your home too long, it is time for you to go home and stay. Maybe, you need a good woman to take care of you.

    October 28, 2013 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
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