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. currency1896

    really need to disband congress

    October 29, 2013 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  2. LIndseyMaam

    @ Tax Man – get real TP'r. The only thing you said that's true in your post is these are PHONY scandals. They are phony scandals brought up by TP hacks. Does anyone think you can surround a listening post in a foreign country with an army? Did your party pony up $$ to do this?

    October 29, 2013 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  3. topbrasspro@embarqmail.com

    Sen. Lindsey Graham you are a waste of tax payer dollars. All you ever do is complain with tiny tears in your eyes. Your like a lost little Senator that no one is paying attention to.

    October 29, 2013 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  4. jim

    Lindsey is the new Strom of 3rd world SC !!!

    October 29, 2013 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  5. Mancee Grayce

    Another GOP whacko who has no regard for the country or the people. Why is this not surprising?

    October 29, 2013 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  6. Jimmy

    You're right Dave, election have consequences.
    Obama got the TEA party elected with his radical left wing agenda.
    Deal with it!

    October 29, 2013 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |

    I can't believe you folks having a problem with holding the administration accountable. There are families that want and deserve answers. With all the headlines out there about OBama not knowing what is going on in his administration one would think you liberals would be willing to take your heads out of the sand for a moment.

    October 29, 2013 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  8. Mr Dalloway

    Laundry Graham, the old muck and mire, mostly mire

    October 29, 2013 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  9. Peter

    Jimmy wrote: "Instead Obama poisioned the well and did not get one single GOP vote for the ACA."

    Yah, Mitch McConnell saying that he wanted to make Obama a one-term president by automatically going against virtually every piece of legislation that Obama supported had nothing to do with it, eh?

    Wake up.

    October 29, 2013 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  10. maggie

    Ah yes, Graham still has something to prove to the right wing of her party.

    October 29, 2013 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  11. Mancee Grayce

    LG is not a waste of tax dollars. He is waste of oxygen, carbon, and nitrogen. Every molecule of his existence has been a crime against the laws of nature.

    October 29, 2013 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  12. maggie

    No, Jimmy, even big business groups realized they created this tea party monster and have already begun looking elsewhere. These people are crazy and with an approval rating somewhere near toilet level, most have come to understand it.

    October 29, 2013 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  13. fred

    Did former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton answer all of these questions? We have Bigger fish, like making sure that we have a FY 14 budget, and a higher Debt Ceiling. Senator, this have been done.

    October 29, 2013 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  14. George

    When you have friends in Special Forces who actually tracked wmd's into Syria from Iraq you realize how ignorant and blind dems can be...

    October 29, 2013 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  15. Morgan

    You know why no one has heard any testimonies? Because at WORST the Obama Administration straight up lied to the American public about the source of the attack. No laws were broken, it didn't change the outcome of the attack. Anyone that would have lost their job over this has already left office. If Bush didn't get ousted over lying about WMDs which cost American lies, then Obama isn't going to get ousted here. Congress has SO much more to worry about than this....

    October 29, 2013 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  16. Crashman

    So the GOP is going to stop a government process until they get their way. What a new concept!

    October 29, 2013 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  17. xophr

    No surprise here, "Block" is the only thing Republicans know how to do.

    October 29, 2013 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  18. paul

    if graham is going to block obama administration appointments he needs to get in line behind about thirty other senate republicans who are already doing the same thing. this is campaign fodder.

    October 29, 2013 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  19. neastsider

    Graham is going to sit there and pout and hold his breath and scream and kick because the senate crybaby can't get his 50th attempt to try and find something to pin on the administration for the attack. Take another look senator, you are the cause of this attack, you and your baggers cronies cut the funds that were asked for for embassy security, and you helped pull the pin .

    October 29, 2013 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  20. ireuel

    For you people with long term memory loss. Democrats investigated President bush from 2007 to 2009 and found nothing. The term lies is only true if in fact he lied. If that were so, then Both Clinton's, and majority of Democrats at the time lied. So when the investigation turns on the current administration, you state there was no investigation of President Bush. The different is he and his administration cooperated and the current one is not. I did not support the Iraq War at all but just becuase I didn't does not mean I or you were President at the time when endless UN resolutions and almost 12 years of containing the Butcher of Bagdad was getting a little tiring. He did what he said he would do and even gave the guy 48 hours to get out. Now Libya unlike Iraq which was UN approved and had Congressional approved, (Including Democrats) had neither and also should of not been done in the first place. But he did do it and left American unprotected in a country he was responsible for drone bombing. Get over yourselves and him he is just another "Hawk" but prefers to drop bombs on peoples heads and run back to the campaign trail. Now can Bash Bush all you want, but he got approval and worked with congress up until 2007 when the Democrats spent 2 year investigating his administration and not playing nice. All is fair in Politics, it is just your turn in the barrel. Not to many of you all here have written any facts, just name calling, dissing the other side and very very little knowledge of any of this. Now go back to doing the goverment work you were assigned and don't worry you don't have to get Obama-scare.

    October 29, 2013 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  21. Sheila

    So yet another Republican is ready to slow down Government operations to achieve their own agenda? I wonder how this would play if the next administration appointee was John McCain?

    October 29, 2013 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  22. Will

    Lindsey, the U.S declared their independence from the U.K way back in 1776 but the invisible war still continues to this day; they never left. They are everywhere: in congress, in our police and armed forces. We can see your spies, Snowden and Murdock, trying to undermine the POTUS and our government; you are no longer invisible. We see you clearly.

    October 29, 2013 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  23. dhuff

    "This just in: Conservative, white, good 'ol boy Senator from South Carolina blocks all appointees until President explains why he's black and hates America."

    October 29, 2013 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  24. Mopery

    Wait a minute. So now, only now, it's not okay to have Americans killed in an Al Qaeda attack that we should have seen coming? September 11, 2001 is calling Sen. Graham, they want you to hold ex-President Bush responsible.

    October 29, 2013 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  25. Mike

    Ah, the Party of "NO" doubles down on stupid, yet again.

    October 29, 2013 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
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