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. Peter

    If I refused to do my job, I would be fired.

    October 29, 2013 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  2. sly

    The Party of Obstruction.

    Used to be '47% of Americans will vote againest us, no matter what'.
    Now, '87% of Americans will vote againest us, no matter what'.

    And rising.

    October 29, 2013 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  3. Nina

    Graham says the Benghazi attack was something "you could see coming" and yet has not spoken about the daily bulletin given to President Bush about an expected Al Qaeda attack in the US. Huh? The eternal sour grapes oozing from the Republican party is so nauseating, I can barely express it. Fortunately, President Obama is like the Jackie Robinson of politics, and I think Senator Graham could take a page from that book–be gracious, be kind, be thoughtful, and don't hurt people intentionally.

    October 29, 2013 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  4. TLNow

    Graham has something to prove to his constituents back home so that he can get re-elected. It is really time for term limits for congress.

    October 29, 2013 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  5. Larry

    Obama has shown NO interest whatsoever in finding those responsible for invading our sovereign territory and for killing our ambassador. It's all about covering the mistakes made rather than actually finding those responsible.

    October 29, 2013 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  6. seriously

    Seriously????

    I hope all of your schmucks get voted out

    October 29, 2013 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  7. cbp

    Lindsey Graham has big issues and he is facing a rough fight in his election to return to the Senate. He does not like theanswers he has received on Benghazzi but it is also unfortunate for the family members. Over the last 11 years there have been many issues that were not addressed in Congress such as the lack of proper equipment for the soldiers entering into the Iraqi War. We entered into a war based on wmd's which was not true and all those men and women who were killed or wounded there cannot be forgotten. It seems as if Lindsey Graham was very pro that war but no one used that to shut down the government.

    I guess he believes that Sen. Cruz is a hero for his actions and now Sen. Lindsey will try to do the same. After all of his apprearances on the Sunday talk show circuit did not get him the push he needed back home he will try to shut down the government by stopping presidential appointments. Can these politicians get any less mature.

    October 29, 2013 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  8. SFRich

    I have a suggestion for the senator. It uses a tactic other spoiled children use when they don't get their way—he should just hold his breath.

    October 29, 2013 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  9. Sophie Meyer

    So because lindsey has a primary challenger, appointments should stop? Good lord lindsey, put your big girl pan ties on and face your challenger like a man – quit playing to the bottom feeders at the expense of the country. We don't care if you keep your job.

    October 29, 2013 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  10. DeOdorizer oh the stench

    "I'm gonna block every appointment in the United States Senate until ... " until I get my will.... Uahahahaha boohaa..

    What's new? That's the only thing the Gassy Ole PompousParty can contribute? Hot air, no substance, obstruction. Grand Obstructionist Party.. RIP

    October 29, 2013 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  11. Natasha

    This is why nothing can get done, acting like a baby. Deal with the issues at hand and stop trying to use other issues as bribes or extortion.

    October 29, 2013 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  12. Vanessa

    It's time for Graham and McCain to step down and go into retirement! They are hurting this Country. All of those who openly declare they will do nothing until they get their way should be out of a job! I'm sick of this. They have forgotten that they are there to REPRESENT the people in their home state, not launch personal attacks and put a stop to the movement of government. If they want to be on the TV so much, they should quit their jobs and become pundits on Fox News where they can spew all the hate and lies they want without worring about fact checkers getting in their way!!!

    October 29, 2013 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  13. gus308

    I sure hope South Carlina gets rid of LG next year. Please elect somone who will do something constructive with their time. . is it really that important if the initial information realeased about Bengazi was wrong or not. He needs to quit trying to point fingers of blame and start working to make sure we learn from it and try to prevent it from happening again.

    October 29, 2013 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  14. Kevin

    Lindsey, why don't you & your ilk re-name your party to what it truly is – The Obstructionist Party. Your go-to move is always banning, denying, blocking, repealing, etc, etc. Anything to make sure this country goes backwards, instead of moving forward.

    October 29, 2013 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  15. johnny57

    Graham sounds like the kind we need to vote out of office. His kind will spin their wheels all day trying to get even in their partisan politics.

    October 29, 2013 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  16. Stan

    That's why Congress doesn't get anything done! You cannot put everything into one basket. Resolve one issue at a time. My would we see lots of things working.

    October 29, 2013 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  17. Duke

    Do you have actual new facts to review? Or is this just an excuse to try to do some Hillary bashing? I think the latter.
    Grand standing to keep the Tea party happy...too bad you have a dissolving backbone.

    October 29, 2013 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  18. Pat in IL

    Graham acts more like a pouty 3rd grader than someone who was elected to do a job. He definitely is not a leader. Sad.

    October 29, 2013 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  19. Starr

    Just remember: What goes around, comes around. We all know these Republicans have no interest in healing or helping America. The Low LIfes they attract are racists, and will do anything to obstruct Obama, and the more intelligent ones just want to play the one upmanship game with the Demo's . How sad for America. We've all lost with this congress.

    October 29, 2013 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  20. Oglethorpe

    Lindsey Graham is not looking for answers he is looking for political headlines. People like him are the problem not the solution to anything. Why isn't everyone working together in this country to make sure we have the best educated, healthiest, financialy sound population on the planet. Why greedy corporations supported by the rich and corrupt poloticians. It is much easier to control uneducated, sick, poor people. That is the reason it is so hard for the majority aka middle class and the poor to go to college, get even minimal healthcare, or good jobs.

    October 29, 2013 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  21. Clement Arbruster Bodog Castlenut, Jr.

    I wonder what prompted his sudden interest in government.

    October 29, 2013 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  22. Laurie

    Republicans being obstructive once again. Purely for political purposes on Graham's part. He's not doing his job. Get rid of him next election. In fact, get rid of ALL OF THEM and elect people who are #1 grown up and #2 ethical (if you can find one).

    October 29, 2013 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  23. STEVEV

    So...13 embassy attacks and 92 deaths under the previous Bush administration and the Yemen embassy was attacked twice in seven months and Karachi embassy twice in four years equaled ZERO congressional outrage.

    Not to mention the republican controlled House cut the security budget of the State department by $138 million in 2011 and $331 million in 2012 to the stern objections of Secretary Clinton.

    Yes obviously this was ONLY a failing of the Obama administration. Lets not be so short minded and partisan to see all of the facts and recognize the full history of these types of events that have unfortunately occurred under all presidents for the past 3 decades.

    October 29, 2013 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  24. Realism

    Please keep it up. We need to block everything coming out of this administration because it's all crap from top to bottom. The American people will wake up to this corrupt administration sooner or later.

    October 29, 2013 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  25. Marc

    Graham is a discrace of a politician. I'm going to block something completely unrelated because I don't always get my way. If these were appointments of people who dropped the ball at Bengazi then it would make sense.

    October 29, 2013 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
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