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. GoFigga

    Say what? He won't stop until this is characterized as an intentional killing with the blessing of the WH. Some people can't handle power. Time to turn off the switch.

    November 10, 2013 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  2. Michael Krieger

    Repubs didn't care this much about the Bombing in Beruit 39 years ago

    November 10, 2013 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  3. move_on

    I think Lindsey should make an 8-track tape. It would not need a big reel.

    November 10, 2013 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  4. smdahl

    Why is the administration not allowing the survivors to testify?

    November 10, 2013 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  5. JG

    Surprised...? These GOP buffoons are like a dog with a bone. I suppose they're going to try to pin Jimmy Hoffa on the POTUS too.

    November 10, 2013 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  6. Anonymous

    Yes, it was a tragedy, people were killed. But our senators need to move forward, approve a budget and take care of issues here at home.

    November 10, 2013 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  7. disgusted01

    I love the GOP, cut.cut.cut.cut and when things go wrong their right there condemning the sitting Democratic President. Who they should be condemning is the one they see when they look in a mirror!

    November 10, 2013 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  8. texasnotea

    What a bozo this guy is! The republicans are so lame, why don't you call the guy that just lied to sixty minutes and find out which republicans paid him to lie? If your really after the truth,that is.

    November 10, 2013 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  9. Peter

    It seems the good senator is forgetting the 60+ Americans who died in various US embassy attacks during the Bush administration, many of the attacks still have conflicting stories to this day.

    Doncha just love American politics?

    November 10, 2013 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  10. Gene

    A boy named "Lindsey". What a piece of work.

    November 10, 2013 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  11. loops808

    Why isn't CNN asking to know who the survivors are? Why are the survivors being hidden? It's difficult to imagine CNN just literally turning their heads and trying to ignore this story to simply protect Obama, but that is what is happening.

    November 10, 2013 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  12. Brian Ellis

    @Willow: Thank you! You captured my thoughts exactly...too bad this will be his legacy after so many years of conscientious public service...

    November 10, 2013 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  13. J R Brown

    When the majority party in this government completely disenfranchises the minority party, they leave them nothing but nuclear options. If there is nothing to hide, why won't the administration allow the people who were there on the ground to testify before Congress as to the events? Like it or not, the minority party does hold power in a body of the government entrusted by the constitution with oversight of the executive branch...to withhold the witnesses from Congress is called "contempt of Congress" and is an offense that can warrant impeachment.

    The fact that Obama is willing to withhold the witnesses to the point that he is allowing his appointments to be stonewalled makes me believe he's got something to hide. It's simply not logical to withhold them and cut your nose of to spite your face.

    Regardless of what happened under other presidents, that is no excuse for THIS president to be contemptible of Congress' power to keep him in check. It's not really an issue of whether Obama must allow them to testify...it's an issue of whether he has a constitutional reason to NOT allow them to testify.

    November 10, 2013 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  14. ThinkAgain: The GOP owes our nation $24 billion

    @Patty Ising: "Most Americans WANT to know why our Americans in Benhazi were deserted."

    They weren't deserted – and the only reason Graham is pulling this stunt is because he and the rest of the GOP want to keep this issue alive until the 2014 mid-term elections, in hopes that it will cause people to vote for repubs and not for Democratic candidates.

    BTW, here are some FACTS to chew on: When the decision was made to keep the special forces team in Tripoli, the four Americans were already dead (the mortar attack was over). A Defense Department drone watched overhead in Benghazi as Libyan militia members helped Americans get to the airport.

    That's right: About 30 Americans were SAVED. If President Obama and his administration had "deserted" them, then why was the effort made to save as many as they could?

    *crickets*

    November 10, 2013 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  15. Conservative BS

    What are you going to do? Shut down government again? Economic terrorism? Just FOLD GOP.

    November 10, 2013 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  16. Mary1972

    He wants too ride the head horse and nothing will stop him. OK. LOL.

    November 10, 2013 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  17. ThinkAgain: The GOP owes our nation $24 billion

    This is nothing more than the continued effort by the right to make President Obama – and our country – fail so they can tell their moronic base that, see, "Obama bad for country – must vote repub/tea bag!"

    Graham is the poster-girl for petty, small people with nothing to offer except lies and failure.

    November 10, 2013 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  18. mindstorms1

    Personally, I'm still wondering where those imaginary WMDs are in Iraq. We spent over one trillion dollars and tens of thousands of our military were killed or wounded. If there ever was a need for continuous investigations it is that unnecessary war.

    November 10, 2013 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  19. ReadingisFundamental

    The Republicans never fail to waste taxpayer time and treasure getting exercised about "crimes" committed by the Obama administration. A 49% poverty rate, not so much.

    November 10, 2013 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  20. Hong loName

    The republicans will destroy America as we know it.
    They want the middle class exterminated!

    November 10, 2013 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  21. Kendall

    Appoint a Special Prosecutor...you will see people sing like a canary..........Boehner holds the key.

    November 10, 2013 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  22. sftommy

    If Graham can't make headlines intelligently,
    then he'll make them as idiot doing injury to all Americans.

    Wait that's been the GOP strategy all along!

    November 10, 2013 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  23. norma jean

    Lindsey Graham seems to have gotten the idea that he is so important that he can threaten to withhold the presidents nominations????? Just who does Graham think he is??????The ranks of old retired politicians are overburdened with the likes of him ..........Such arrogance....such self importance!!! !What is it they say "cometh before a fall" ???

    November 10, 2013 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  24. The Scarecrow

    Wonder what people will say when the republicans do good in the elections because of Mr. obama's health care that slowly is destroying middle America and gouging money from them. There worse than the republicans in that sense.

    November 10, 2013 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  25. Larry L

    This is just more "hostage-taking" from a broken, dishonest Republican Party. It's time for the Senate to change it's procedures to prevent a single radical from using the U.S. Senate as a tool of obstructionists to play political games.

    November 10, 2013 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
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