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. ksk

    Time for Graham to go! This is again an effort to obstruct, does not have the interest of ALL Americans, only himself and a re-election bid. Term Limits.

    According to The Declaration of Independence, "whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends [such as "life," "liberty," "the pursuit of happiness," and "the consent of the governed"], it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."

    Time for ALL Americans to get educated, involved, vocal and clean house! The silent majority can no longer sit quietly.

    October 29, 2013 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  2. Patrick Portland

    Start impeachment proceedings – more lies being piled on top of other lies. Of course, CNN is fashionably late to the party – they were too busty propping up this house of cards and cheerleading for Bozo at every turn

    October 29, 2013 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  3. Pam from Iowa

    I truly hope that your re-election is blocked the next time you are up for re-election Senator!

    October 29, 2013 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  4. Pander Bear

    Translation: I am about to be primaried by the Tea Party and need to burnish my bat guano crazy credentials. Additionally, this keeps my name in the news and if we can keep this fake scandal alive we may be able to pin it on Hillary in 2016.

    October 29, 2013 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  5. RAWoD

    Vote NO on the GOP - they are no longer doing what's right for the country. Blowhards like Graham need to be forcefully retired by thinking Americans.

    October 29, 2013 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  6. SteveInMN

    ""I'm gonna block every appointment in the United States Senate until the survivors are being made available to Congress."

    The Republics have been delaying appointment for the past 5 years; why change anything now?

    Somehow, 4 in Bengazi are more important to Republics than the 4 THOUSAND in Bush's wars....Be AMAZED!

    October 29, 2013 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  7. PaulC

    Definitely the party of NO.
    They may not realize it but SOMEDAY there may be a republican in the W.H. and.....

    October 29, 2013 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  8. Jez

    How is this news? Republicans have tried to block absolutely everything Obama has been for since his first election. God forbid republicans are for anything other than obstructionism, extreme religion and hatred.

    October 29, 2013 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  9. marthatiller

    This is no different than the usual GOP obstruction tactics. The entire republican party is a disease on American progress. The voters will respond accordingly.

    October 29, 2013 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  10. PM

    Another do nothing Republican. The GOP is a cancer on America, vote them all out.

    October 29, 2013 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  11. aerosgrl

    "What happened in Benghazi was a tragedy; it is the case that there was not adequate security."

    On 9/11? Really...

    And the fact that the American people are not disgusted the famiilies of the 4 had been told the lie of a video... but keep blaming Rep. As the Democ. keep sweeping things under the table.

    October 29, 2013 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  12. Hogan's Goat

    "Lindsey Graham used to be someone I respected. " He served his state well for a long time and is still reliable about most of the business of his office, like farm subsidies and taxes. But he's going out with a soggy thud of failure.

    October 29, 2013 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  13. Downtown Guy

    I do find it ironic that 60 Minutes and Fox News are being mentioned in the same sentence. If it was Fox News and Comedy Central mentioned in the same sentence… then that would make sense.

    October 29, 2013 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  14. John

    Doesn't Congress, who reduced the State Dept. overseas security budget and even now refuses to pass legislation seeking added dollars for overseas embassy security, bear significant responsibility for the tragic attack and deaths at the Benghazi compound? I know the House Reps and people like Sen. Graham don't see it that way because they are too busy involved in the blame game; not only continuing to try to weaked the current Administration, but also take down the next potential Democratic candidate for president. When are these people going to finally do the job they were elected to do? Or perhaps the bigger question: when will the voters get rid of them for failing to do their jobs?

    October 29, 2013 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  15. JeanneLH

    I agree with Nina. Very well said. Where was all this objection when George W was starting wars and Haliburton was able to get no bid contracts and make billions. Where was Lindsey when a billion dollars in cash was lost in Iraq. Not a million a frliggin BILLION...no one was ever held accountable for anythihng. Obama has had to turn this recession around with NO HELP from the GOP. He has been nothing but gracious and accepting blame for any mistakes. There aren't any secrets about Benghazi...we're still uncovering information. I watched 60 minutes as well and the people who were supposed to be guarding the compound left in fear. How long did it take for us to figure out 9/11? Lindsey Graham would have us invade Syria if it were up to him. I hope he is unseated in the next election. He could care less about the US...it's all about Lindsey.

    October 29, 2013 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  16. Frank Cardenas

    Wasn't Lindsay Graham in Congress when embassies were attacked during the Bush Administration? How many nominees did he hold up until Bush explained those?

    October 29, 2013 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  17. Anonymous

    I'm sick and tire of these bigot politician, holding up everything. Why is it the southern politicians?

    October 29, 2013 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  18. EddyL

    Benghazi is just an excuse. These pathetic right-wingers have been blocking nominations since Obama's first day in office.....

    October 29, 2013 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  19. ptmom02

    Did the people who worked in Libya not know that they were taking on a dangerous position when they went there? Yes, this was a horrible thing, obviously there could have been some errors made in security, but no one in our government wanted these people to die.

    October 29, 2013 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  20. Edwin

    Obstruction at its worst - but at least he admits it.

    October 29, 2013 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  21. what1ever

    Another case of the grey, old people party playing politics with a tragedy. I hope the Democrats clobber on these guys in the next 20 elections.

    October 29, 2013 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  22. Dawn Kieballs

    He's a brick and we're all drowning slowly.

    October 29, 2013 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  23. Curtis Henderson

    What happened to the 300+ American Lives lost during the 9/11 attacks....an Al Qaeda attack that you could see coming also, by many accounts. I dont remember such an obstructionist congress after those attacks.

    October 29, 2013 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  24. Brian

    Trying to gain mileage or save face after a dismal performance?

    October 29, 2013 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  25. Bob

    Typical " extremist" behavior. Screw up more of the govt that has nothing to do with the Benghazi issue. Sound familiar?

    October 29, 2013 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
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