November 10th, 2013
10:58 AM ET
5 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. rick

    wasn't the 1st, 2nd or 3rd time all the eyewitness testified before the House good enough? twice open meetings and once closed meeting, maybe if he wasn't out in the hall giving TV interviews he might have heard what they said.
    He needs this to appear tough on Obama, to fight off the Tea Party challenges in his own state for his election bid in 2014.
    Even John Mccain quit looking poking that beehive with his big stick.
    When he found out it was a piss poor CIA operation. and the CIA coverup, Gun Deals to the rebels. from NATO, Russia, China and the US Taxpayers, because it hadn't gone through the US Budget Committee yet.

    November 10, 2013 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  2. huhsyomouf@hotmail.com

    While you're at it Lindsey....check into the 5000+ US and coalition soldier's deaths and the hundreds of thousands of civilians in Iraq. You and your party don't seem to be outraged AT ALL regarding the lies surrounding involving the US into war and the innocents killed as a result. Why is that?

    November 10, 2013 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  3. stephanurus

    It's not a matter of "backing down"; it's a matter of being sensible. The CBS report was based on false information and the Republican witchhunt on Benghazi is based on partisan politics. Give it up, Graham.

    November 10, 2013 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  4. sonnie 2

    Transparency is not part of government that obama claimed would happen when he was elected. Damm what are the hiding this time. Scandals, corruption, lies, coverups and the like will be the hall mark of obama. Sad, but very true and I am very sad about the situation America is in with the democrats attacking our liberties and Freedoms at will to make this at the very least , a socialist country run by a dictator. Wake up America and read the Tea Leaves.

    November 10, 2013 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  5. Faux Scandals

    America has been ghazied to death, nothing new to see or hear, time to move on.

    November 10, 2013 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  6. Richard Miller

    This man needs to go. His holding hostage to the government is an act of terrorism and he should be arrested and waterboarded.

    November 10, 2013 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  7. jennifer in Houston

    Sen Graham like most of the GOP seem to,thin. trying to smear President Obama is more important than doing actual work for this Nation.. I am a registered Republican but I am soooo sick of the GOP.. time for them to go away and com back another day when they are prepared to be team players on Team USA

    November 10, 2013 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  8. Jill-IN

    Good governing or just hateful bullying. I am so sick of the GOP right wing agenda and hate that my grandchildren can see and hear this on TV. We don't plan to visit any States in the South anytime in the next few years. Off our travel list.

    November 10, 2013 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  9. Searching for Hope

    Lindsey graham is right. Why is the administration holding back the survivors testimony? Besides the media must expose the blatant cover up of Benghazi – remember, for weeks they lied to American's saying it was a spontaneous demonstration due to an offensive video. They even arrested the video's producer as an act of diligence. If that doesn't demonstrate a cover up then nothing will. We should all be very scared that an administration would arrest someone to cover up their own failings

    November 10, 2013 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  10. Richard Mitchell

    Somebody needs to tell the Senator that he is trying to ride a dead horse. It does get the attention of the Tea Party.

    November 10, 2013 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  11. Willow

    Oh poor, poor Lindsey Graham, there is a teaparty "primary" threat hanging over your head, and you must at least appear to hold some level if (self) righteous indignation over the deaths of 4 Americans, while you sat in silence during "W's" years when there were how many American I deaths n similar acts of violence against our embassies...Poor, poor Lindsey!

    November 10, 2013 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  12. works4me

    Perhaps they should have put this much passion into investigating the Bush lies and false information. You know... the part where thousands were sent to die in the sand. The sand that trillions$ were spent on...

    November 10, 2013 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  13. Scott

    Is the administration "holding back" anyone? Can they? If witnesses are subpoenaed, and willing to testify; how can the administration stop them?

    November 10, 2013 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  14. vculou

    Senator Graham needs to know that core republicans will not fund him against a tea party challenge. The tea party challenger will get the primary but lose the race. Thanks for playing Sen Graham. You have sidelined yourself by your combining a politicized vague charge with real stubborn pettiness. America will not have that, for proof look at the recent VA races. Your done by your own hand, and please remember to turn in your gym key on the way out..

    November 10, 2013 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  15. PA86

    It seems he has not learned one darn thing about blocking, obstructing, and holding the government hostage until he gets his way. There are other ways to get people to testify before Congress besides crying and whining and trying to take the ball and go home. Grow up Senator.

    November 10, 2013 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  16. truth is

    yeah forget about actually accomplishing anything for the American people when you can just drag out a witch hunt for the next 3 years while the rest of us suffer for it.

    gee thanks

    November 10, 2013 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  17. Jason

    Well I do declare, Senator Graham must be afraid Tara will burn down if he doesn't get him some hearings.

    Just like Graham, this is a bunch of crap

    November 10, 2013 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  18. Rick

    LoL the GOP are so useless all they can do is throw temper tantrums and hold the government hostage at every turn.

    November 10, 2013 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  19. ellamvaram

    Mr. Lindsay Graham: It's time you stopped talking about Bengazi, unless you are also willing to talk about the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan, where thousands of our boys and girls lost their lives over the lies the Bush Administration made up to the tell the whole world, even while using the United Nation to agree to their lies. Let's talk about it. But that will not bring back the dead who are calling out for justice, and that will neither bring up the three who perished in Benghazi. Come on, Lindsay, wake up to facts and learn to work on them right now!

    November 10, 2013 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  20. larry

    I HOPE the repubs will remember come 2014 elections how they hung the country ,shot downs,refuse to help to govern,spend 4 years to do everything to stop anything OBAMA tried to help the country,Mitch said as soon OBAMA was elected he will do ANY THING STOP OBAMA,S TERM

    November 10, 2013 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  21. Ron L

    This is SO PATHETIC!! Just think about is..ONE SENATOR can prevent a President from staffing the Executive branch of the government. I don't care if it is a Democratic or Republican Senator this rule literally allows a person who won an election in ONE state control appointments that effect the entire NATION!!!. Doesn't that sound a little backwards?? Also doesn't this sound a lot like a temper tantrum from a two year old than an adult attempting to resolve an issue??

    November 10, 2013 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  22. david freeindependent citizen

    The senator is plainly a political hypocrit. Over three dozen attacks on our embassies and dozens of embassy employees killed during the Bush years, no investigation. Almost seven thousand body bags filled to find WMD that did not exist, no investigationt. This disgraceful use of political power is one of the reasons why most Americans have a negative view of congress. Another shutdown brought to you by the GOP.

    November 10, 2013 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  23. Paul

    Another witch hunt hoping to find something or hear just anything where republicans can twist words and use them for political purposes. Imagine how much could be done on immigration, tax reform, jobs, and infrastructure projects if republicans would have put that energy for positive use. Bottom line is they are scared of their tea party base and will do anything to get their attention even if it hurts the general public. These people should be voted out.

    November 10, 2013 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  24. Tampa Tim

    Hey dipsticks, there is no Benghazi coverup. You crazy people refuse to accept that bin Laden is dead, you refuse to accept there were no WMDs in Iraq, you refuse to accept that you got a tax break from the stimulus. You call private insurance competing for people to insure socialism. You think that the stock market going from 6700 under Obama to over 15,000 is communism. You refuse to accept that a black man could have been born in Hawaii. You people are sick.

    November 10, 2013 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  25. Sean Patrick

    Another Baby Boomer Extremist. I truly cant wait for this generation to move on. They have brought our country to a standstill in every way imaginable so they can grand stand and feel important. The left is so considered about being political correct they have to label everyone as special, instead of just being an american, which is pretty special in my book. And the Right has bought into the Greed is Good mantra so much that they have become slaves to corporations. The Baby Boomers continuing actions just prove they only care about their generation and that they wont agree on anything that will actually help the american people.

    November 10, 2013 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
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