November 10th, 2013
10:58 AM ET
10 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. Logic n L.A.

    Maybe these survivors don't want to talk to him. If there is no crime, why should they talk? Stop beating a dead horse. We were attacked. 4 people lost their lives. This is not the first time. Start with those if you have such a morbid obsession with killings

    November 10, 2013 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  2. Albany Park

    Here's the best hypothesis, subject to confirmation: The administration knew well ahead of the tragedy that security in Libya was poor and that our policy of intervention was a mistake. Instead of improving security, they wanted to act like there was no problem. To improve security would have been admission of failure. This was a political decision, in other words. What we now see looks very much like a cover-up – no one is allowed to talk to State Department officials or others who actually were witnesses to much of the surrounding events. When we have an administration that is more concerned with its political survival than the national interest then we must be considered a failed state, including a failed democracy. But no one wants to be seen as anti-Obama or anti-Hillary Clinton, less they be demonized at right-wing reactionaries. The right-wingers have no answers, but the Democrats and Progressives have no answers, either. Conclusion? America is dead.

    November 10, 2013 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  3. Vidal demonti

    yep, another obstruction by this guy....another GOP nut on the loose. He should be voted out of power as soon as possible.

    November 10, 2013 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  4. KorfuTheDefiler

    Yeah sure it's about Benghazi. More useless obstructionism from the extremist right-wing. Where were these guys during all the other Embassy attacks in the past decade? Benghazi is not a scandal, never will be no matter how hard you stamp your impotent Tea Party feet.

    November 10, 2013 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  5. Richard

    I'm sure one of the most educated and one of the states that give more to the fed in taxes than it gets back–(not). A senator that has not put forth any legislation to help people, but he is quick to denigrate any legislation the democrats try to get passed. Can you imagine electing someone over and over again to the senate and all they do is complain. I wonder what kind of job he had before the senate. We need to pass a law that says whatever is taxed from the fed will go back to the states and not a dime more. Let's see who these states start electing when they don't get the PORK back.

    November 10, 2013 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  6. longtooth

    Graham will keep throwing mud until something sticks, all the while posing as a patriot doing his duty. He has nothing to lose, because his act will always sell to 25% of the public at the warm, stagnant end of the gene pool.

    November 10, 2013 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  7. BS

    I don't see Graham going after Bush for all the embassies attacked and people killed then. Don't tell me this isn't political. There is only one goal here, to to try and impact Hillary's run for presidency. There is no other reason for this.

    November 10, 2013 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  8. Martha in CF

    Graham has been in congress toooooo long. Let's only hope most of the redumblican obstructionist are voted out.

    November 10, 2013 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  9. Anonymous

    He had no problem with all the Americans killed during the Bush/Chaney war years. What a farce. He is worried about
    the Tea-KKK-Party's enddorcement during his next election run.

    November 10, 2013 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  10. Cory111

    -block President Barack Obama's nominations until Congress hears from Benghazi survivors-
    We need to keep him busy, he like 99% of the Republicans would not know the truth even if it kicked them in the tosh until their nose bleeds.
    The "Party of No" is going over the political cliff once again. The women in this country and other ethnic groups as well as Gay's and TG will make it happen.
    Hillary 2016

    November 10, 2013 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  11. Michael Smith

    The Constitution says "advice and consent of the Senate." I cannot find in the Constitution where it gives that power to a single, self-serving, grand standing senator. The rules that the Senate has fabricated are unconstitutional.

    November 10, 2013 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  12. Carlos

    All hatred and irrelevancies aside, no one here has addressed the main issue: why are not those survivors allowed to testify?

    November 10, 2013 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  13. J-Man

    Good Job Lindsey Graham. Graham is generally a good guy. Sometimes he works with the Democrats too much.

    November 10, 2013 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  14. me234

    The GOP, unfortunately, has been using the Chicken Little approach to governing. Birthers, Barack is a communist, or a Muslim. I wish they would put some solid alternatives to, healthcare costs, immigration, and the well being of the middle class.

    November 10, 2013 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  15. TIdy_Bowl

    OK Mr. Graham. Go seek the answers on Beghazi where 3 US persons died in 1 evening. Right after an independent commission finishes up the investigation as to why we actually invaded Iraq, who cooked the intel under Rumsfeld and why the VP's former company received a no-bid contract to run the war. Then we will actually know why during 8 years of war we lost 3500 US service persons and wounded over 100000. 8 years of war, 3500 dead vs 1 evening and 3 doesn't seem like much to ask an answer to does it?

    November 10, 2013 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  16. Jim

    Give up...this administration is one giant cover-up. Transparency is like a war crime to the Dems and no one can know their ongoing, deliberate acts of crime and treason. Evil continues to prosper with an administration that continually claims to know nothing.

    November 10, 2013 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  17. blakenaustin

    I don't like RINO Lindsay Graham. But I do support his stance on this issue.

    November 10, 2013 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  18. carol

    Shame on Graham. What if we had pulled this type of thing over 9/11 when Bush was President. It was a shame and should not have happened,but this congress has some responsibility for cutting the budget. Besides this has nothing to do with that issue. It is an attempt to keep the GOP appointment dominating the courts.

    November 10, 2013 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  19. J-Man

    Note to kniving, governing this country seems a little too much for the GOP to handle? Not sure what you mean by that. The Democrats have been doing a pretty bad job of it for 6 years. This Benghazi thing should have never happened. The people there had requested additional support on several occasions, that is a fact. My next question is why didn't they shoot the people once they stormed the gates? They were probably told not to. I think a few hand grenades and some 50 caliber machine gun fire would have stopped it in its tracks pretty quick. It is very difficult to operate a grenade launcher or mortar when your arms are gone from the grenade that went off next to you or when the back of your head is missing because you were the lucky recipient of a 50 cal round to the forehead.

    November 10, 2013 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  20. jeff

    The most transparent administration the world has ever seen... Obama is the first. And the last, period.

    November 10, 2013 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  21. Jessica

    Where was all of the GOP outrage when 13 separate embassy attacks killed hundreds of people under George W. Bush?

    November 10, 2013 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  22. Phil

    Could it be we are showing a conservative credentials amid a Tea Party Primary fight?

    November 10, 2013 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  23. BillB

    Get back to work and stop wasting the tax payers money!

    November 10, 2013 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  24. rs

    The GOP, proving every day why they are bad for America!

    November 10, 2013 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  25. timothy f cronin

    when are the gop going to do something for the good of the country. gop is grasping at every straw to put the president down.

    November 10, 2013 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
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