October 28th, 2013
05:10 PM ET
9 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. Jack

    And we wonder why D.C. is dysfunctional. Here you have another powerful Tea P arty Republican blocking anyand everything just to get his way. Just for political embarrassment of the other party! Get over it! Benghazi is old news! And you are Commander in Chief: Mr. Graham!

    October 29, 2013 08:07 am at 8:07 am |
  2. dh

    Repubs are going down in flames, thank God.

    October 29, 2013 08:07 am at 8:07 am |
  3. Gone

    So what's new? This quaky Senator need some serious mental help.

    October 29, 2013 08:09 am at 8:09 am |
  4. Herewe Goagain

    This criminal administtration needs to be stopped through any means available.

    October 29, 2013 08:11 am at 8:11 am |
  5. Mark Yelka

    Our representatives are really working hard to get us hating them. Shutting down government processes however they can. If that is their aim, they've succeeded. Let's vote the obstructionists out of office.

    October 29, 2013 08:12 am at 8:12 am |
  6. Mark

    It amazes me that these people don't put forth the same effort to revitalize our economy, figure out why some corps are paying NO taxes, and penalize companies for taking jobs overseas! Grahm, you need to rethink your obstructionist ideology!

    October 29, 2013 08:13 am at 8:13 am |
  7. Dan in FL

    Another Republican throwing a temper-tantrum instead of governing. 60 Minutes was able to interview someone who at Benghazi and a Congress cannot? It seems like Congress needs to investigate its own incompetency.

    October 29, 2013 08:16 am at 8:16 am |
  8. DocHollywood

    "......"I'm gonna block every appointment in the United States Senate until the survivors are being made available to Congress........"
    Or at least until his primary is over and he convinces the tea party folks back home that he too can obstruct and disable the functions of government.
    He might just hold up appointments until they bring in the survivors of the 1983 Beriut embassy bombings that killed 17 Americans and led to the Marine barracks bombings which resulted in the killing of 161 American soldiers.

    October 29, 2013 08:17 am at 8:17 am |
  9. Fred Phred

    I'd like to know where these guys were when we invaded a country over weapons of mass destruction that didn't exist?

    Where was the uproar when 4000 of our fine men and women died because of fabricated intel? Where was the outrage? Where was the negativity? Where were the conspiracy theories in congress?

    Blood on their hands that just won't wash off.

    October 29, 2013 08:18 am at 8:18 am |
  10. teaparty days are numbered

    GOP/TP are just plain STUPID.

    October 29, 2013 08:18 am at 8:18 am |
  11. chill

    What a childish attitude. Just another Republican attempt to prevent the government from working and then blaming the government for not working.

    October 29, 2013 08:19 am at 8:19 am |
  12. Dubhly

    To hold up the proper process for political reasons is nothing less then corruption. I means that graham is willing to go against what this country founded 200+ years ago and use the nomination process as a political tool, thus inhibiting proper government function. if the Republicans have a problem with what Obama did they should use the legal approach and call hearing ( wow something they did and found little so far), or try to bring an impeachment ( at which point the last POTUS should be brought in to answer for 50+ dead instead of 4 in 12 incidents instead of 1)
    Graham is completely wrong in saying he will do thus, what is essentially an Illegal act, and certainly an act against the United States citizens by harming the functions of government.

    October 29, 2013 08:19 am at 8:19 am |
  13. Stephen

    Despite the repeated lie that 13 embassies were attacked under Bush, that is NO EXCUSE for additional LIES about the Benghazi.

    October 29, 2013 08:20 am at 8:20 am |
  14. WillB2

    He's still angry that he was forced to give back the combat medal he never earned when the paper in Charleston "outed him" for wearing it.

    October 29, 2013 08:21 am at 8:21 am |
  15. tafugate

    everyone understands graham is a complete, quintessential, partisan idiot. he's just blowing smoke out his derrière in advance of future elections. all reasonable people, as well as ambassador stevens, understand the united states can't protect every mission with a division of marines or fly sorties spraying tomahawks into a populated area. but then, we're talking republicans.

    October 29, 2013 08:22 am at 8:22 am |
  16. ibuk

    What a surprise, an American politician who wants to waste tax payers money, doesn't want to do any work and expects to get paid for it. It's only been a week since his last vacation.

    October 29, 2013 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  17. JY

    SOSDD for DC, hey guys what do we do that is stupid today? Will it stop progress? Hurt the Average folks?

    October 29, 2013 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  18. ironman59

    This has been the tactic of the gop for the last 6 years. Do everything possible to road block this administration. Then they have the gaul to say Obama hasn' accomplished anything. When you break the legislative process into little pieces how is anything supposed to get accomplished.

    October 29, 2013 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  19. Joan Wheeler

    There they go again. Those republicans have nothing left in the game-book except destructionism. Shut the government down, block the president's appointments, repeat the same old, same old policies that only they want. The next election cycle won't be here fast enough.

    October 29, 2013 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  20. SokrMom

    We all know Republican Congressmen just want to slow, hamper and/or destroy any and every action or initiative Obama supports, regardless of whether it is good for the American people.

    October 29, 2013 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  21. Thinkergal

    Lindsay Graham always sounds as though he has a mouth full of mush and a head full of cotton. Appropriate, I suppose.

    October 29, 2013 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  22. libryan

    Block, block. Onstruct, obstruct. That's all the Repugs, Teabaggers and red state politicians know how to do!!

    October 29, 2013 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  23. Jeb

    Lacking any positive legislative agenda of their own or any positive vision for moving the country forward, Republicans have resorted to total obstruction for the last 5 years.

    October 29, 2013 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  24. SuZieCoyote

    Do the Republicans have any play in their books except obstruction?

    October 29, 2013 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  25. Agata Pijaczka

    It's about trying to glean more than what's there to use against Hillary in 16. It's called 'grasping at straws'.

    October 29, 2013 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
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