November 10th, 2013
10:58 AM ET
9 months ago

Graham to keep holds on Obama nominees

Washington (CNN) - Sen. Lindsey Graham vowed on Sunday that he would continue to block President Barack Obama's nominations until Congress hears from Benghazi survivors.

The South Carolina lawmaker told CNN's Candy Crowley on "State of the Union" that he will place holds on any nomination put forth by the administration unless it makes available five survivors of the September 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya, who have been interviewed by State Department investigators but remain out of Congress' reach.


"I've been trying for a year to get these interviews without holds," Graham said.

Graham scoffed at any notion his maneuver amounts to political grandstanding, portraying his actions as a last resort and couching them as part of "trying to perform oversight."

"I don't want to hold anybody. All I want to do is talk to the survivors," Graham insisted. "I'm not trying to prosecute a crime."

Graham announced his intention to hold all of Obama’s nominations the day after CBS's "60 Minutes" aired a controversial report on the attacks. The newsmagazine has since pulled its report, saying that its eyewitness, a British contractor stationed in Libya, lied to reporter Lara Logan about what he saw on the ground.

When pressed by Crowley about whether the debunking of the piece would impact his stance, Graham told her it wouldn’t.
"I never asked for the British contractor. I didn't know he existed," Graham said.

soundoff (320 Responses)
  1. sparky

    Whatever it takes to get re-elected, I guess. Unfortunately for Senator Butters, this isn't right-wing enough to stave off a primary challenge.

    November 10, 2013 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  2. PoBoy

    This is nothing but political grandstanding. If Sen Graham really wanted to hear from the survivors, all he has to do is subpoenae them. He's continue to try to score polticial points by pretending that he reallly cares about the Benghazi victims. He is a fraud like the rest of his Senate colleagues.

    November 10, 2013 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  3. Big Al

    November 18, 1978; Jamestown, Guyana: That is the day and place where 918 Americans drank Cyanide-laced Kool-Aid because their leader, not wanting to be questioned, told them to. Before they drank the Kool-Aid, they shot and murdered five people, including U.S. Congressman Leo Ryan.

    November 10, 2013 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  4. Paratrooper_us

    @walkabout – If you knew your history – 1) When the Marines died, President Reagan did not come out and blame it on a video, he flat out and stated it was an act of terrorism (and by the way, they got those responsible for the bombing). 2) 9/11 there was an open investigation to what happened on 9/11 and people were not blocked from testifying. 3) If you want to bring up the past, remember Somalia under President Clinton? 19 men died and one of the factors of their deaths was a President who did not give them requested support. Remember who financed 9/11? Bin Laden. And guess who had five documented opportunities to capture Bin Laden but would not give the green light? President Clinton.

    This Administration started to cover this up from the start. They blamed it on a video, which prior to it being mentioned by President Obama had less then 100 views. For two weeks they continued to blame it on a video, instead of acknowledging from the start that the State Department turned down repeated requests for increased security. These requests did not just come from the Ambassador, they came directly from a Special Forces team that are highly trained to asses risk. To go further, the Special Forces team requested to have their tour extended by two weeks so they could be there for 9/11. The State Department turned them down. To add insult to injury, you have Uncle Joe make the comment to one of the deceased SEALs parents, "He must have giant balls" when talking to the parents when the bodies came home at the PR party the President, VP and Hillary had as the bodies were being returned to America. Then Hillary makes the comment under Oath "Who Cares?" and that the SF team could not have held the embassy annex anyway. Sorry Hillary, they WOULD have held the embassy, had you allowed them to stay, long enough for help to arrive, assuming the President would have sent help, which he failed to send the FRT to start with.

    If you are so sure there is nothing to be found – then why is the President not insisting the survivors testify?

    November 10, 2013 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  5. Sridhar

    Mr, Graham

    Why dont you go ahead and follow your colleagues in the Tea Party and threaten to shut down the government too while you are at it.

    This is ridiculous. Please do the job you are elected to do. Enough of the grand standing.

    November 10, 2013 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  6. Evergreen

    Can you also investigate the pallet loads of tax payer cash that disappeared in Iraq? Someone knows something...coverup?

    November 10, 2013 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  7. Thomas

    Benghazi ?

    It would be nice to get those responsible for hurting our people , and not waist time on a kangaroo court to punish those who wish there colleagues were still alive.

    Issa makes me vomit

    November 10, 2013 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  8. Schmoogalicious

    Gotta love it. The GOP is bound and determined to allow the Tea Party to destroy every last ounce of credibility it ever had and lose every national election it will ever again take part in. Go Tea Party Go!

    November 10, 2013 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  9. David Rutledge

    Stupid, obstructive, counter productive moron. I guess it's time to dredge up Water Gate again.

    November 10, 2013 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  10. PhiltheObserver

    Has the good politician not heard of a congressional supenia(sp) all he has to do is ORDER them in for formal hearings....

    November 10, 2013 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  11. Poster

    Obama was heard to say, "If you like my nominees, you can elect my nominees.". Goes without saying that this will turn out to be a lie as well.

    November 10, 2013 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  12. Chris

    How can you people even try to defend Obama as he goes about destroying America and it's values?

    November 10, 2013 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  13. Big Al

    Oh, how quickly and easily we apply the word "racist" to those who offer even the mildest criticism of the Obama Administration.

    Samuel Johnson, in 1775, made the famous statement: "Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel."

    Today, paraphrasing Samuel Johnson's statement, one might say: "Crying racism is the last refuge of the lesser mind."

    November 10, 2013 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  14. Sherman & Peabody

    The original Tea Party was because the King of England
    passed a tax on TEA, to the colonies.

    They "Revolted" because they had "No" representation,
    and no other course of action.

    Todays "Tea Party" has representation.
    They just don't like the results,
    so they act like spoiled children.

    Todays Tea Party are desperate, because their "brand" of politics
    is no longer acceptable to the majority of Americans.

    They are going down kicking and screaming,
    and doing as much damage they can.
    That alone will be the "Death" of the party.

    The damage they have done to the Republican party will be felt
    for years,.

    November 10, 2013 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  15. Grindlapole

    hefailed

    Oh, good. I'm glad the deaths of the American's at Benghazi doesn't impact your day to day life. I'm sure the surviving family members are relieved to here you are doing well.

    Did you scream when 60 people died under George Bush ?
    Didn't think so.

    Fake outrage at best.

    November 10, 2013 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  16. LWJR

    We all know the Clinton's pushed on CBS to retract. Now the real story is, how did they do this? Who was their agent? What is CBS afraid of?

    November 10, 2013 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  17. Mark

    I would be the first to acknowledge a lot likely happened in Benghazi than we may ever know of; and i might lean to the argument that some have made suggesting it was nothing more than a safe house masquerading as an embassy; I might even accept that State really pooched this one – though I think CIA had their hands in this cookie jar.

    The problem is these so-called hearings have become nothing more than a congressional three-ring circus – why would I ever entrust them with anything more than grandstanding?

    November 10, 2013 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  18. dannyC

    "I never asked for the British contractor. I didn't know he existed," Graham said.
    So when he announced his intention to put a hold on all nominees the day AFTER 60 Minutes ran the story, he did not know the man existed?
    Is it because 60 Minutes is such a little known and obscure program he, nor any of his staff saw the interview? Even though 60 Minutes ran dozens of commercials featuring the interview the week before the program.'
    When he made his claim he was speaking to his supporters. And in doing so, he was giving a very clear indication of what he thought of their collective intelligence.
    I'm sure glad he wasn't talking to me. I would have REALLY been insulted.

    November 10, 2013 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  19. Skyback

    Republicans are on the wrong side of history.
    Tea Party is the gun in the back, destroying the GOP.

    Thank God Democrats are taking back this country.
    We always seem to be the ones who fix the mess Republicans cause.

    Happy to oblige.

    November 10, 2013 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  20. middle man

    Where was this concern when the last guy lied to us all or was at least incompetent and thousands of troops died in Iraq an countless numbers of innocent civilians were killed as well?

    What a joke these people are!

    The truth for Benghazi but not Iraq?

    Because the truth is the evidence on Iraq was planted by Iran so we would eliminate their enemy of Saddam.

    One day the truth will come out on Iraq as well.........

    November 10, 2013 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  21. Drakenfly

    If there isn't a problem with Benghazi then why not let Graham talk to them with out restriction...unless...

    November 10, 2013 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  22. Fred

    When being anywhere near Lindo, "backing" away is always the wise choice.

    November 10, 2013 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  23. sam111

    Graham proves that congress people should be required to pass an IQ test...

    November 10, 2013 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  24. M Wells

    Scott, I sincerely doubt that the Obama administration is "holding back" anyone. Rather, I'd imagine that the Benghazi incident is a continuing investigation. "Eyewitnesses" may be informants whose identities must be protected for their own safety. They may not be American citizens and, therefore, not subject to Congress' subpoena power. Sadly, far too many in the GOP regard "the truth" as that which they want to hear rather than what it is. If only a smidgeon of the time wasted on the numerous "investigations" were spent on the nation's business! The Benghazi incident was tragic but I very much doubt that President Obama or anyone in his administration would deliberately place embassy personnel in imminent danger. Perhaps Lindsey should "investigate" who in his party voted to cut funding for embassy security nationwide? And, having lived in several overseas locations in my life, host nations play a major role in the number of "security personnel" permitted – preferring instead to provide their own security. I wonder why the GOP didn't deem it necessary to investigate all of the attacks on U.S. embassies around the world while GWB was in office?

    November 10, 2013 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  25. eugenypants

    Has Mr. Graham even considered that perhaps those that did survive do not wish to be forced to once again recount the ordeal that they endured? The government has already taken their stories, and that have been through enough. It is their time to heal, not to push partisan political agenda.

    November 10, 2013 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
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