October 28th, 2013
05:10 PM ET
12 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. MS

    No it is not shocking that none that lived have went before congress, It would be a first and what light might might she they were attacked? This shows the fracture in the GOP one half hunting heads and for people to be replaced on other matters like Obamacare so how can anyone be replaced if one person blocks it all? Call for people to resign and yet block any replacement? Appears the Gang within the GOP do not get the concept of what is is to govern and th DNC just goes along there i this thing called party censure that is not being used here.

    October 28, 2013 11:42 pm at 11:42 pm |
  2. Robert N. constant

    Graham has proven himself a political hack who is more interested in scoring cheap political points against President Obama than in what is good for America. This guy is predictable. The only comments he ever has to make are negative ones to try to tear down the President. He says nothing constructive and does nothing constructive. He brings shame on Georgia.

    October 28, 2013 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |
  3. Ron

    Well their they go again! Holding a gun to the head of the government to get what they want! Is their no end to the sinister games the GOP will play to get what they want! Isn't their a way to abolish the GOP? They have turned into a bunch of thugs who will mug the American people to get what they want! Now they will stop appointments that are needed to get the job done, People who have nothing to do with their agenda's, But the will stop the appointments anyway! The name RETHUGLICANS seems to fit!

    October 28, 2013 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
  4. QuoVadisAnima

    Despite all the efforts to paint Benghazi as a GOP witch hunt, 60 Minutes did an investigative piece in which they learned that there are indeed serious & troubling issues with this Administration's handling of the incident before, during and after. Time to put aside hypocritical partisanship and put the country first. Well past time in fact...

    October 28, 2013 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  5. David

    When will the Senate grow up and change the rules that let one person hold it hostage?

    October 29, 2013 12:00 am at 12:00 am |
  6. Nodack

    We get it Republcans. You are going to appose any and everything if Obama has anything to do with it. All Obama had to do was say he was against ACA and Republicans would have fought for it.

    October 29, 2013 12:02 am at 12:02 am |
  7. Steve Allard

    Graham is a partisan hack. If this was under Bush's administration all you would hear from the GOP side is crickets. The GOP has no interest in truth, just want to impede the Democratic process and stoke the fire of hate from their base. 2014 is just around the corner.

    October 29, 2013 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
  8. hdusey

    This is so hypocritical..... it is well known that GW Bush knew of intelligence that there was a credible threat to the US before 9/11. Guess what... thousands of Americans died on our own soil.... and no Republicans were outraged like they are over Benghazi. Though tragic and not without mistakes..... four Americans were killed in a foreign, hostile environment..... but honestly, can you truly say this compares to 9/11????

    October 29, 2013 12:25 am at 12:25 am |
  9. Ian

    Relax Republicans! Benghazi was all just crisis actors!

    October 29, 2013 12:30 am at 12:30 am |
  10. jb1963

    Looks like clownboyobama had drank too much Texas kool-aid.

    October 29, 2013 12:35 am at 12:35 am |
  11. Monomachos

    The Obama Administration has been stalling on this since Day 1 – or lying about it. If this is what it takes to get information out – go for it. The report yesterday on 60minutes shows there is still much to come out on this story.

    October 29, 2013 12:46 am at 12:46 am |
  12. ReaganRepublican

    Please move on. This is not a scandal and it never was.

    October 29, 2013 12:51 am at 12:51 am |
  13. Gary

    That's right Lindsay. Hold the gun steady while the GOP shoots itself in the other foot. What part of "the American people are tired of these childish tantrums" do you not understand?

    October 29, 2013 01:04 am at 1:04 am |
  14. Dick Delson

    Lindsay, why don't you tell us how many troops Bush killed in Iraq and Afghanistan>
    Does 5,000 sound right, with 15,000 more wounded.
    This for oil money for he and his father.
    And while you're at it, tell us about Katharine Harris in Florida?
    You remember, the Secretary of State who tossed all the ballots voting for Democrats.You're as dumb as Bush.
    On second thought, no one is dumber than Bush

    October 29, 2013 01:10 am at 1:10 am |
  15. Jeff

    I would love a liberal to make a valid argument without brining up Fox News, President Bush, or Rush Limbaugh. I don't think it can be done.

    October 29, 2013 01:13 am at 1:13 am |
  16. Smeagel4T

    Read "The Benghazi Hoax". It does an excellent job of walking through the timeline showing how the right wing echo chamber, lead by FoxNews, has systematically ignored and/or contradicted testimony that doesn't agree with their propaganda. Just the other day there were Tea Party radicals out yelling at Clinton claiming that she "left people behind" or "abandoned", which is entirely a FauxNews fabrication. Absolutely NOBODY was "left behind" or "abandoned". It is a FoxNews fabrication that ignores the fact that security agents WERE dispatched from Tripoli to Benghazi, by the White House, and those agents did in fact rescue all but four and they did return with EVERYONE - including the fallen. The absolute equivalent of any military operation dispatched for the purpose of leaving no one behind.

    October 29, 2013 01:14 am at 1:14 am |
  17. Michael Benjamin

    Positioning for his Senate run in 2013.

    October 29, 2013 01:20 am at 1:20 am |
  18. mountainlady

    Senator Graham has no honor and really doesn't give a damn about the deaths in Benghazi. If he did he would be incensed by the wrongful deaths of every American killed in Iraq.

    October 29, 2013 01:38 am at 1:38 am |
  19. David Shaughnessy

    Here we go again!!!! STOP blocking government business with your own personal agenda!!! This is NOT the way the Founding Fathers intended government to run and the continuous obstruction of the democratic process is nothing less than TREASON and "UN-AMERICAN" activity! If you have a gripe, deal with it in the democratic way....elect a majority and bring it up in Congress! Anything less is extortion and verging on Dictatorship!

    October 29, 2013 01:44 am at 1:44 am |
  20. BUD

    We know what happened same as the Marine Barracks attack and the US Cole attack.
    Those folks don't like us.

    October 29, 2013 01:50 am at 1:50 am |
  21. Nawme

    When things go well in the military and enimies are killed or captured obama never gets credit, but something goes bad in the military he gets the blame.

    October 29, 2013 01:51 am at 1:51 am |
  22. Thom Burke

    No one believes that the GOP cares a whit about what happened in Benghazi except as a way to create problems for Obama. And that includes the GOP themselves.

    October 29, 2013 01:55 am at 1:55 am |
  23. Tom

    GOP wants to Block something....what's new.....part of the plan.

    October 29, 2013 01:59 am at 1:59 am |
  24. Tom

    It's NOT about Benghazi........... it's about appointing judges.......... Benghazi was a botched up secret CIA operation that nobody was suppose to know about......especially the Libiyans....so no, it won't become public knowledge, not now not ever......and GOP .....get over it......only 19% of the country even wants to hear about it anymore....

    October 29, 2013 02:02 am at 2:02 am |
  25. Zeeman

    Time for the electorate to send Mr. Graham packing. Enough of this obstructionist and down-right annoying behavior! He should be ashamed of himself. He"s no patriot.

    October 29, 2013 02:05 am at 2:05 am |
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