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. bearitstrong

    Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina told Fox News that he would block all Obama administration nominees before the Senate until survivors of the deadly assault testify before Congress.

    Am I the only person who is sickened by ReichWing politicos imposing their personal will on and impeding the democratic process?

    October 29, 2013 07:21 am at 7:21 am |
  2. Roger

    Obstructing government is the new Republican way. They're like spoiled kids on a vacation they didn't want. They make EVERYBODY suffer.

    October 29, 2013 07:23 am at 7:23 am |
  3. blue max

    that little sissy wants to get back in favor with the tea sippers. regarding ted cruse, lets just deport him back to canada. problem solved.

    October 29, 2013 07:23 am at 7:23 am |
  4. Wayne

    I'm saddened and sickened by most of the responses to this story. The difference between Benghazi and the other stories you reference are that it is becoming more and more obvious that the government intentionally and willfully lied to the American public on numerous occasions in order to protect the re-election campaign of Obama. That is HUGE if it's true. Maybe it's not true as the liberals say. Let's find out the only way possible .... by hearing from the people on the ground there. The survivors.

    October 29, 2013 07:25 am at 7:25 am |
  5. CHRIS

    OMG. we havent moved on from this yet?!!!?!!!!

    October 29, 2013 07:25 am at 7:25 am |
  6. Bob

    Again, the GOP with Lindsey Graham at the lead is using Benghazi to bash the Obama administration. As if there was a conspiracy afloat to get 4 diplomats murdered. Fox News is the worst example of "fair and balanced" news that I know of.

    October 29, 2013 07:25 am at 7:25 am |
  7. Sunshine100

    Once again, a Republican plans on holding the business of the Federal Government hostage until the White House no longer is the third branch of government. Once again, a Republican is throwing a temper tantrum, throws himself to the floor kicking and screaming then holding his breath until he turns purple. No adult should give in to that childish behavior. I think Sen. Graham's behavior is a continuation of the Republicans' bitter, selfish, unpatriotic, disrespecting actions upon the citizens of our great nation.

    October 29, 2013 07:31 am at 7:31 am |
  8. Deeder42

    Senator Graham is an obstructionist and everyone knows that. He really has no concern over what happened in Benghazi, and he knows it. But, once again, we have someone from Congress trying to play football with a goose egg. This constant drum beat coming from Teapublicans is really getting to be annoying. Enough already!!

    October 29, 2013 07:33 am at 7:33 am |
  9. Matt

    Here we see more evidence that republicans have zero desire to govern. They are intent on fulfilling their prophecies about how incompetent government is with their own incompetence. From Fox News using old computers to anonymously troll people on forums and blogs, to false witch hunts, and now this little gem today. And the worst part is their base is cheering them on! Their agenda is the only thing that matters to them, more than their religion, more than their county, more than anything. They had 6 long years to fix everything they claim is wrong with America, and instead they manufactured intelligence reports to invade a country, and sent our deficit through the roof. They haven't earned my vote, or yours!

    October 29, 2013 07:36 am at 7:36 am |
  10. Sunshine100

    On the other hand, when Sen. Graham's behavior returns to an adult state, his demands for full disclosure of the Benghazi attack, and killing of a U.S. Ambassador and 3 other federal employees, is owed to the American public by the White House administration. President Obama actions are not those of the man who promised to each one of us citizens an open, honest, administration. Shame on him for the NSA actions and cover-up. Shame on him for the Benghazi cover-up. Shame on what I believed was an honest and honorable man.

    October 29, 2013 07:39 am at 7:39 am |
  11. Marcia

    How is this different from what the Repubs made up their mind to do from day 1-anything to destroy this President

    October 29, 2013 07:39 am at 7:39 am |
  12. lloyd roberts

    Let's see, during the Reagan administration the US Embassy in Beruit was attacked and 61 people died mostly US service personnel and CIA staff. Nine month later by Beirut Airport, the US Marine barracks was attacked killing 299 US servicemen and French soldiers. Yet Reagan made all his judicial appointments that year, no one blocked anything. Do you really care, "still in the closet" Graham about those US citizen or is it a challenge from some young spoiled tea partier that's got your dander up

    October 29, 2013 07:39 am at 7:39 am |
  13. elvelios

    When people are in the opposition they tend to do everythyn or anythyn to just win popularity in all sectors of concern.He knws wat he wants to do.

    October 29, 2013 07:40 am at 7:40 am |
  14. truthteller

    Every tragedy according to the GOP should be turned into a political circus. That is why they continue to die as a Party

    October 29, 2013 07:41 am at 7:41 am |
  15. Randy

    Too bad the repubs weren't as concerned about American deaths when they were murdering almost 5,000 of our troops in their war of choice based on lies.

    October 29, 2013 07:44 am at 7:44 am |
  16. bettyboop33

    GOP (Great Obstructionist Party)...party of the past, party of NO; know nothing and most of all do nothing. Fifty-four percent of Americans now oppose Republican control of the House. GOP/Tea Party stand to loose thirty-seven seats in the House and rightfully so, because the American people deserve better.

    October 29, 2013 07:44 am at 7:44 am |
  17. Jim Simpson

    There is no reason other than the fact that its politically detrimental to Obama and Hillary that these survivors haven't testified. No one with good sense could say this administration is honest and forthcoming. It needs to be investigated. Regrettably the State Department keeps stonewalling testimony.

    October 29, 2013 07:46 am at 7:46 am |
  18. Will

    He's just afraid of Hillary.

    October 29, 2013 07:49 am at 7:49 am |
  19. lgbarn

    13 Benghazis Happened Under President Bush...yes you read that right

    October 29, 2013 07:54 am at 7:54 am |
  20. tommy

    There he goes again...LOL.

    October 29, 2013 07:58 am at 7:58 am |
  21. Robert

    Sorry Graham. You didn't stand with us when it counted and now you'll be replaced.

    October 29, 2013 08:01 am at 8:01 am |
  22. John

    For Grahams story to make sense you have to believe that the administrations plan was to fool everyone into thinking that this was not a terror attack, simply by not using the word "terror". No one would have thought that a bunch of rabid, Muslim radicals, attacking and murdering our ambassador was an act of terror on their own unless the president came out within hours of the attack and said it was. His accusations are pure nonsense. They have held hours of bipartisan investigations, hearings. and testimony and there is nothing to support Grahams attacks beyond ignoring that evidence and playing the "what if game". Lindsey is not fit for office and it is sick of him to use these peoples deaths for political games.

    October 29, 2013 08:03 am at 8:03 am |
  23. Lee in Ohio

    Senator Graham persecuted President Clinton, and he has now found a way to persecute President Obama. Nothing new.

    October 29, 2013 08:03 am at 8:03 am |
  24. Todd C. Bobo

    I sincerely want the truth about Benghazi , so that it never happens again. That being said, Graham is pursuing the standard Republican modus operandi. Delay, obstruct, delay. Have the Republicans become the party of obstruction? Sadly, it sure seems so!

    October 29, 2013 08:03 am at 8:03 am |
  25. Chuckme

    The worst thing is that Graham is better than the other Senator from SC – Scott. Both should be thrown out of office.

    October 29, 2013 08:04 am at 8:04 am |
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