October 28th, 2013
05:10 PM ET
8 years 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. Michele

    And did we expect anything else from Graham?

    October 29, 2013 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  2. Percy

    Graham would do anything to stop this Pres. from getting anything done, that's one reason nothing can get done in this country to help those who need it. Graham, get the "HELL" out of the way.

    October 29, 2013 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  3. Anonymous

    If there is nothing to hide, why is the administration going to such great lengths to keep the survivors from testifying?

    October 29, 2013 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  4. Rudy NYC


    Posters need to realize that Lindsay Graham is not a Tea Partier. Sorry if that doesn't fit your little narrative, but the Tea Party doesn't much like him. Second, the point is that the Senate won't take up any interest in Benghazi, even after the damning report on 60 Minutes.
    Graham does fit the Tea Party narrative. He's facing a Tea Party primary challenger. He's clearly trying to show that he's got that Tea Party tough skin.

    The report you mentioned was nothing more than sensational journalism. Amb. Stevens died within the first hour of the attack on the compound. Relief was at least four hours away in Tripoli. What were the personnel supposed to do in the mean time? Play hide and go seek with the people burning down the buildings? The right wing would lead you to believe that the correct course of action would be to send a team to Benghazi, which would compromise the defensive capabilities of the embassy in Tripoli should it come under attack.. .. .. and they every reason to believe that Tripoli would come under attack.

    October 29, 2013 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  5. Bootsie Randolph

    The classic Republican: Do everything in your power to destroy the functionality of government - and then complain about it

    October 29, 2013 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  6. Paul

    Here we go again.

    October 29, 2013 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  7. Howdiedoo

    Just cause Bush didnt handle 9/11 right dosen't make it ok for the current admistration to continue the same mistakes.

    October 29, 2013 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  8. Kiril Selverov

    How is this country supposed to move forward, when every attempt of a change is blocked by the Republican party? Do Americans really want to lag decades behind Europe, where progressive change is welcome and happening?

    The only thing that brings growth is change. We need to abandon medieval values and beliefs, and move forward with the rest of the world.

    October 29, 2013 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  9. Brian

    (whispering)... psst... Lindsey... maybe try the "birther" route again as well.... it's all working so well.

    October 29, 2013 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  10. Third Eagle of the Apocalypse.

    This is a great example of why no one respects the GOP anymore.

    October 29, 2013 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  11. TomNPitt

    It's pretty laughable when Mr Lindsay says he's going to stop every appointment unless he gets to talk to everyone involved in Benghazi – again. This time he wants to talk to people who were being shot at. What do they know about what was going on in the White House. I don't know what else we can learn about this. the administration and Hillary have already accepted responsibility. Jay Carney said it all – "What happened in Benghazi was a tragedy; it is the case that there was not adequate security." Does Lindsay Graham think the Administration and State Department put these people there deliberately so they could be killed – during an election year??

    October 29, 2013 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  12. Badley

    Just another wanna be, wanting to get in the spotlight using terroristic tactics for his own agenda

    October 29, 2013 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  13. ArchieDeBunker

    Oh, that's OK – Obama will just appoint a few new "czars" – he doesn't really pay any attention to anyone else anyway – the man is convinced that he's the messiah – and is bent on the destruction of the U.S. by any means Can there be any doubt about that?

    October 29, 2013 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  14. Michael E

    Lindsey Graham just retired the Hypocrite of the Year Award. He continues to keep himself in the spotlight because the deaths at Benghazi were, to use his words, "a result of an al Qaeda planned attack that you could see coming," Hey Lindsey guess what? So was 9/11. More than 3,000 people died that day, yet neither you no any of your Republican cohorts ever called for an investigation. Yes, it's tragic that four people died at Benghazi. But why the outrage now when you remained silent after 9/11? Oh, of course. The imbecilic Bush was a Republican, so you couldn't blame him. Because Obama is president, you're going to puff up your chest and act like a tough guy. Senator, your hypocricy is sickening, but oh so typical of inept Republicans.

    October 29, 2013 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  15. scott

    South Carolinians, what does Graham ever do for your state?

    October 29, 2013 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  16. DAT

    The word isn't "block," the word is "obstruct."

    October 29, 2013 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  17. Blaine

    Another Ted Cruz. Waaaahhhh, I want my way. Waaaahhhh, do what I say. Waaaaahhh if I don't get my way I will kick my feet and scream. Waaaaahhhhh!!!!!

    October 29, 2013 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  18. Jobu

    This is nothing new. They've been doing this for 5 years now.

    October 29, 2013 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  19. Anonymous

    Kiril Selverov well said I applaud you

    October 29, 2013 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  20. gee wiz wow

    "They died as a result of an al Qaeda planned attack that you could see coming," Graham said.

    I didn't know he was a psychic?

    October 29, 2013 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  21. Jobu

    The GOT is looking for every possible needle in a haystack to impeach this guy.

    October 29, 2013 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  22. crippled dog

    The RADICALIZATION of the republican party took many years. From Nixon jumping on HMOs as a good money making idea to Raygun dismantling institutions that were in place to protect us, to Noot Gingrinch espousing the most bigoted ideology while leaving his wife for another woman while she was on her death bed, to Bush getting us in Iraq because he was mad at Sadam for trying to kill his father. It won't be in the blink of an eye that these folks will learn their lessons and change their positions. VOTE THEM OUT.

    October 29, 2013 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  23. Paul

    The republican charade continues. "If I don't get my way, then I will throw another hissy fit".

    October 29, 2013 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  24. tjt

    Let not talk about the gun violenece that now threatens American schools and the 20 young children slaughtered in a Connecticut schoolhouse. Let keep talking about Benghazi.

    GOP need to get a clue to win an election.

    October 29, 2013 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  25. Idiotwind

    So, if the underlings are the ones who should have informed Obama about the situation, then why is he getting the blame?

    October 29, 2013 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
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