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. USA #0

    How many mass shootings have taken place in the US since Benghazi? Has Graham called any of those survivors to testify? Why not? Are they worth less than the Benghazi survivors? Hyprocrites!!!!!!!!!!!

    October 28, 2013 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  2. Reality Check

    "They died as a result of an al Qaeda planned attack that you could see coming,"
    Are we going to blame 9/11 on Obama too, now?

    October 28, 2013 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  3. AmericaFirst

    I'm 100% positive the ACA healthcare website too is linked inexplicably to the Benghazi cover up. Why any rationale tea party mind can see it clear as tea.

    October 28, 2013 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  4. The Tax Man

    We love you Lindsey! Feet to the fire. Actually we need Obama to explain ALL of his PHONY scandals before Congress and the American People BEFORE any more government action on Obamacare or raising the borrowing limits etc. All Benghazi witnesses need to testify before Congress publicly with no BS about "classified" info. And one of those witnesses needs to be Hillary, under oath, and also Obama, under oath.

    Then we need all the big wigs at the IRS to testify and Holder to testify and all the folks at the NSA, FBI, CIA and Homeland Security to testify, under oath, with no exceptions, in public with no claim of "classified" garbage! Time for Obama to come forth with his promise of absolute, undiluted transparency in HIS government!

    And then the testimony by all involved with Obamacare!

    Feet to the fire until the American citizens hear all the truth and nothing but the truth. And Obama, please bring the REAL birth certificate this time along with all of your school/immigration/passport/bar records. Thanks for being honest with us, finally.

    October 28, 2013 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  5. Barry

    Lindsey Graham has to be one of the biggest blithering idiots to walk the halls of congress...


    October 28, 2013 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  6. Larry

    The Europeans must be laughing their asses off at this pathetic excuse for a government. While they move forward and improve the lives of their people we continue to wallow in this sideshow created by the GOP. How stupid can a people be to elect a party to power that serves the needs of the 1% while hating on the rest of us. The popular vote comes in at 51% to 49% when it should be 99% to 1% but 48% of the population need help catching their drool. Just continue with meaningless distractions while the really important stuff continues to be ignored – nothing better to do today or any other day.

    October 28, 2013 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  7. wut!?!

    "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 he doesn't get his way he's going to take his ball and go home . . . how typical of the teabaggers!

    October 28, 2013 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  8. Joe

    Spot on with the comments about Graham and the tactics of the GOP for the past 5 years. It just shows over and over and over ad nauseum what a bunch of useless hypocrites are wasting our time and money. President Obama has been the picture of dignity and class throughout all the crap they have thrown his way. A real man and a real American. The morons who continually abuse him, his family, the office and his accomplishments really need to come to grips with their own problems.

    October 28, 2013 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  9. Craig Adams MD

    Grow up Sen Graham--you are exactly why our nation is so divided.

    October 28, 2013 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  10. Denese

    I agree...typical GOP antics.

    October 28, 2013 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  11. Justin

    Lets see.... If I don't get exactly what I want I am going to keep ANYTHING else from going forward.... This does not sound like the way responsible adults behave.

    October 28, 2013 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  12. Smarkles2

    Who is paying money inot this guys coffers? How lame.........

    October 28, 2013 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  13. Smarkles2

    We have bigger issues. Move on....

    October 28, 2013 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  14. srcactus

    Obama should be able to keep secrets from ALL of the people. He is so perfect that no body should question his actions. It's OK for Americans to be killed just so long as it's not my friends, family and me. Good for the NAS spying and even better that the IRS will be involved in our healthcare. Obama is the greatest I cannot wait to see Barack get another term as President by his own executive order..

    October 28, 2013 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  15. truebluetarheel

    Bush didn't try to cover up any way shape or form like our 'little king' Obama has lied and distracted and tried to cover up what took place in Benghazi!!! NSA -IRS heavens where does it end? Open your eyes Americans this man and those around him are not the patriotic American I identify with..............even his so called Affordable Care Plan better known as Obamacare (he can have it but interestingly enough, chooses not too) is killing our country....

    October 28, 2013 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  16. RJ in CHWY

    I am pleased he is willing to find out what the president does not want to tell us.

    Now if we could just find out what is going on with the IRS it would be pretty interesting.

    Obama makes Nixon look like a boy scout.

    October 28, 2013 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  17. TAK

    Why do the republicans keep feigning outrage and the go off on a non-sequitur? "We don't like what you did in Libya so we'll block the next Fed chairman!" or "We don't like Obamacare so we'll shut down the government!" Next they'll say "We don't like Obama's choice of socks so we'll block the farm bill!" I'd call them infantile but that's an insult to infants everywhere.

    October 28, 2013 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  18. Keylo44

    Who cares about the Left or the Right!? Someone didn't provide proper security for our people in Benghazi...people were attacked/ killed and someone needs to answer for it. Give the families of the departed answers and keep the politics out of this.

    October 28, 2013 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  19. Diane Bralley

    Anyone fool enough to think that the GOP cares about what happens to Americans should think back to a few weeks ago when Republicans were throwing temper tantrums and willing to allow the country's financial collapse to get their way.

    October 28, 2013 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  20. Steve - Dallas

    Has Sen. Graham conveniently forgotten about the Beirut Marine base bombing during the glorious Reagan years? Did we ever get any answers for that? But that was under a Republican administration, so of course not the same thing at all.

    October 28, 2013 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  21. Lenny

    Bla bla bla
    Go ahead and keep on doing what you have been doing for a while.
    Few more years, and this bunch will be no more.
    The old USA is changing and those who fial to change will go the way of the dinasours
    bye bye

    October 28, 2013 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  22. harv

    I will post it before some loon from the tea party posts it, "what difference does it make?'...it makes a great deal of difference from everyone of the hypocritical wingnuts looking to bring down our President, when the energy should be directed at those who killed the four Americans and bring them to justice.

    October 28, 2013 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  23. 4000 died under Bush and not one peep

    4 people die and Republicans whine.

    October 28, 2013 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  24. Stefan

    For those of you citing the many deaths under Bush, here are the differences: George Bush and his administration took full responsibility for the killings, and blamed the attacks on what the true cause–islamic terrorism. The Obama administration–for some reason–refuses to even say those words! The Obama administration won't say who ordered the "stand-down" which halted any attempt to save the diplomats. Furthermore, Obama went to a fundraiser in Las Vegas the day after the deaths in Benghazi.

    October 28, 2013 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  25. HillClimber

    Thank You, Lindsey Graham, for shooting the American people in the foot so you can get the answers that only you feel you can ask. Ask away, Lindsey, and feel free to stomp your feet, to pound your desk, to point your finger. Only you, Lindsey Graham, can see the folly of the administration and I wholeheartedly approve of your efforts to gain the attention you so desperately seek, no need, for the benefit of yourself. Be Damned, Citizens, I must fight on until my ego is satisfied, my ego is gratified, until my ego fills the room with demands. "I'll block appointments, you'll see", you say. Go, Lindsey!

    October 28, 2013 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm |
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