October 28th, 2013
05:10 PM ET
1 year 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. J

    I don't remember the GOP being so concerned when Reagan let 241 US Marines die in Beirut.

    October 29, 2013 04:25 am at 4:25 am |
  2. Bob Ramos

    Graham said he would use Senate rules to stall approval of presidential nominees until he gets the testimony he wants.
    ----------------
    This rule should be thrown out. The apparent power of one Senator to hold up the work of the country is just plain ridiculous.

    October 29, 2013 04:25 am at 4:25 am |
  3. John

    This is the same o same o for the GOP. It is very much past the time to end this parties power. They are doing a great job of destroying this wonderful country of ours. And we sit back and let them. We keep voting these monstrosities back in just so they can wreak havoc with our entire system of government. We truly are an idiot country.

    October 29, 2013 04:29 am at 4:29 am |
  4. Sandy Nuss

    Sick, sick, sick, this has been going on during the Bush time and now it is bad, Damn Republicans are the biggest hypocrites ever, they are digging their own graves every time they act like they are so good, we know different, don't we ?

    October 29, 2013 04:37 am at 4:37 am |
  5. Anonymous

    Another fine example of our government at "work." They disgust me and have become nothing by material for satire.

    October 29, 2013 04:51 am at 4:51 am |
  6. Fish

    It's a good thing the GOP has Benghazi to waste our time on since they have zero policy issues and no plan for anything productive. 2014 can't come soon enough to dump this idiots!!!

    October 29, 2013 04:54 am at 4:54 am |
  7. Gandl

    OMG! No. Really??? This is so new.. A goon from the GOP is going to try to derail our government?
    Wow... what will be next?

    October 29, 2013 04:54 am at 4:54 am |
  8. Maripil

    Blocking Pres. Obama's nomination is another destructive ploy by republicans to waste time, money and resources to satisfy their arrogant and senseless demands!

    October 29, 2013 05:04 am at 5:04 am |
  9. Maripil

    This is how idiotic republicans are that their ratings are in the sewers!! There has not been any achievement on their part that polls after polls show how low and dissatisfied people are of congress!!

    October 29, 2013 05:10 am at 5:10 am |
  10. Bob Nickell

    Sen. Graham is facing a Tea Party primary challenge. That's his motivation.

    October 29, 2013 05:27 am at 5:27 am |
  11. gman11

    Anyone been too S.C. lately ,the entire state is in disrepair and this nitwit wants to focus on this, what about us? jackwagon

    October 29, 2013 05:29 am at 5:29 am |
  12. BD70

    Shouldn't you be working on a budget or something? After all February is just around the corner.

    October 29, 2013 05:47 am at 5:47 am |
  13. Brad

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

    How's that any different than what he's been doing for the last five years?

    October 29, 2013 05:52 am at 5:52 am |
  14. Josh

    I wish we had a sane conservative voice coming out of congress. No, we get stuck with these childish congressmen. Local elections count. Please vote these guys out in your next local election. I don't care if they are conservative or liberal, but these obstruction techniques are pathetic. Do you want these people to run your government? They are not about you, they are about getting their way no matter what. They have proven to be incompetent at governing and have done nothing but obstruct and burden. They do not want the president to succeed and have done everything they can to prove this. We have a system that is capable of blending the best of liberal and conservative ideologies, but it relies on cooperation and compromise. These guys are deeply problematic and dangerous. They need to go.

    October 29, 2013 06:00 am at 6:00 am |
  15. Rick

    Oh look, another Republican threatening to boycott doing his job, the job he's payed for by us, and yet again holding a branch of the government hostage. We need to expels every traitorous fools.

    October 29, 2013 06:04 am at 6:04 am |
  16. Vader

    New day... same song. When are they ever going to learn?

    October 29, 2013 06:04 am at 6:04 am |
  17. Belseth

    So why is this news? The Republicans have tried to block everything the President has tried to do since he took office. The Republicans have drawn a line in the sand and have stated flat out they will obstruct the government until they are in power again. Who needs terrorists when we have the Republican party. Who pose a greater threat to our future freedom???

    October 29, 2013 06:18 am at 6:18 am |
  18. Kris L

    Can't win the budget battles, can't win the legal battles, so let's go back to that other thing we really don't have anything on: Benghazi.

    October 29, 2013 06:19 am at 6:19 am |
  19. Mariel

    One person should not be allowed to hold things up this way.

    I wonder what would happen if all comments were spell and grammar checked and only those that passed the test were posted. I bet we'd see a lot fewer teaparty posts!

    October 29, 2013 06:20 am at 6:20 am |
  20. Jebbb

    Lindsey Graham is trying to grab the spotlight, afraid of being "primaried" by the teabaggers. This is the kind of legislator we don't need. These guys are always threatening some sort of sabotage of American interests for no reason but self-promotion. When these con men carry out their sabotage, they harm the country, and accomplish nothing positive. Unless you count name recognition and donations for themselves from their gullible marks.

    October 29, 2013 06:21 am at 6:21 am |
  21. Matt

    Because that's all you are good at, Lindsay...

    October 29, 2013 06:21 am at 6:21 am |
  22. dzerres

    Please. Graham doesn't care about these individuals – this is all about trying to derail Hillary Clinton. 3,000 Americans died when Bush ignored intelligence warnings about 9-11 and he never even testified under oath or by himself (he and Cheney were allowed to speak "together" like little kids holding hands) and the GOP refused to even hold hearings until the widows of the 9-11 attacks forced Congress to act. Pure evil politics on the GOP front.

    October 29, 2013 06:22 am at 6:22 am |
  23. MaryM

    These republican congressman and women have gone from ridicules to out of their freaking minds. I know I am sick and tired of their childish behavior and I am sure that the majority of American are also. Please America, vote these obstructionist republicans out of office asap

    October 29, 2013 06:23 am at 6:23 am |
  24. Kris L

    Anyone on here who continues to believe this stupid stuff needs to think. Remember, the House is run by Republicans who can control (and have controlled) the only voices to speak before their committees, and after all this time even they have not found evidence of some conspiracy to bring send it up for further action. These Republicans need to stop and just start focusing on 2016 and how to win moderates back, because stupid things like this will only drive them away further.

    October 29, 2013 06:23 am at 6:23 am |
  25. Mathprof

    The GOP has one hell of a lesson to learn-bring on the 2014 elections.

    October 29, 2013 06:26 am at 6:26 am |
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