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. Tina

    These guys can't stand that a black man is President. Remember you do not own USA. Does anyone of you have Indian blood? If not shut up. Obama is high intelligent guy, descent than probably all of you Republicans who are full of hatred, don't care about anybody. You are arrogant, racist, hateful and hypocrites. You claim yourself as Christians. Sure even during the slaves time, you were going to church all the time to pray.

    October 29, 2013 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  2. corpsman

    Of course he will. The party of "no" is alive and kicking (kicking themselves right into obsolescence).

    October 29, 2013 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  3. Florida Jim

    Grraham is a Jerk and yet another embarasment to the Republican party – we are tired of this negativism – we are tired of republicans looking to block things – DO SOME POSITIVE THINGS !!! Help America to prosper !

    October 29, 2013 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  4. jane

    seems clear no one seems to care about their fellow american died and they had 3 months to get ambassador stevens out in safety but did not and even stand down order we were told a different story but not the truth. so you think getting the fact out on what is going on is wrong. if you do where were you born?usa never leaves one man behind but 4 never!

    October 29, 2013 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  5. bawana

    oh gee don't tell you are going to block all appointments,,,as if that hasn't been done already to obama and his administration,,,,,like no other ever in the history of the u.s, that there has been so many blocked appointments,,just like the filibustering and not passing any laws,,,,,,all iu can say is turn about id fair play,,the guy got elected fair and square unlike gwb and yall redneck ole white guys don't seem to understand you are loosing control,,,too bad ,,,so sad for you,,grow up and govern legislate or what ever quit grandstanding for nothing wich is what yall have to offer

    October 29, 2013 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  6. Rozzie

    Graham is yet-another sheep without a shepherd! Still fussing that they lost the election! Boo-hoo, your day is
    coming on the 31st - Halloween! Dress uip as ogres that you all are!

    October 29, 2013 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  7. Bzarr

    A Senate republican is going to block all Obama nominees. It should say he is going to block some more, or the rest of Obama's nominees. SOS

    October 29, 2013 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  8. Mike

    TINA – You're part of the problem about what we can't stand anymore. You made absolutely NO SENSE in your rambling! Obama is the head racist of this country. If things are so great with this guy then why didn't he negotiate on the ACA? Because he doesn't care about you or me or anyone else in this country. The one thing he doesn't have on his side is TIME – he will be proved to be the most incompetent disgrace that the free world has ever witnessed.

    October 29, 2013 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  9. jill

    I'm no expert and regardless of partisanship, should he at least wait to see who the nominees are before deciding to block them? Just proof that the government is only concerned with politics and not the good of its people.

    October 29, 2013 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  10. Oscar Pitchfork

    MIKE!!! YOU RAMBLING IDIOT! He DID negotiate on the ACA-he just didn't feel right GUTTING IT OF ALL ITS MERIT like his Healthcare-dollar-sucking Retardican counterparts. Go back under the rock you live under!

    October 29, 2013 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  11. JustSaying

    Nothing but obstruction. The ultimate goal of the Republicans hasn't changed : make Obama's presidency fail. They are sore losers.

    October 29, 2013 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  12. BHale

    My god, please stop. We've had enough disfunction, haven't you learned?! Carry on with your hearings but please. Stop. This. Nonsense!

    October 29, 2013 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  13. JV

    It’s unfortunate that we need to save the dems from their selves. What a mess they have caused.

    October 29, 2013 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  14. kathy0715

    How typical of the GOP....."I'm going to stand over here, hold my breath and stomp my feet until I get what I want". Oh Lindsey, stop being such a drama queen.

    October 29, 2013 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  15. JJ

    Oh so tired of the continued obstruction of the right. this is not how you lead, this is not how you govern. this is only how you weaken the US with this stupid nonsense.

    October 29, 2013 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
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