Graham wants to block Brennan, Hagel until he gets answers on Benghazi attack
WASHINGTON — Sen. Lindsey Graham said he will attempt to block the nominations of Chuck Hagel to be secretary of Defense and John Brennan to head the Central Intelligence Agency until he gets answers from the White House about what the president did personally at the time of the deadly attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
The South Carolina Republican, speaking on Sunday on CBS's “Face the Nation,” said a six-person security team that had been dispatched from Tripoli was held up at the airport during the eight-hour attack.
“Did the president ever pick up the phone and call the Libyan government and say, ‘Let those people out of the airport,' ” Graham asked.
There will be “no confirmation without information,” Graham said. “This is complete system failure, and I'm going to get to the bottom of it.”
Separately, Sen. John McCain, an Arizona Republican, said he's leaning against voting to confirm Hagel, citing the former Nebraska senator's opposition to then-President George W. Bush's plan to send additional troops to Iraq.
Though Graham vowed to oppose the nominations, he seemed to rule out a filibuster.
President Obama's nomination of Hagel, a Republican, to succeed Leon Panetta has been criticized by Republicans on issues such as his opposition to unilateral sanctions against Iran and his comments about the influence of what he once called “the Jewish lobby.”
Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., who chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee, predicted last week that all 55 Senate Democrats would back Hagel once the nomination gets to the floor. In addition, at least five Republicans have said they would help muster the supermajority of 60 votes that would be needed to overcome an attempt to block a vote on him.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Counties defy same-sex marriage ruling
- U.S., Cuba to announce plan to open embassies
- New York prison chief, 11 employees put on leave in escape
- Charter lapses for Export-Import Bank; conservatives vow to block revival in House
- Nike’s chairman plans to step aside
- Supreme Court to take up mandated dues for public employees unions in next term
- NSA resumes collection of phone data
- White House intruders beware: Spikes planned
- Emails from Clinton’s first year as secretary of State out
- Ten Commandments monument orderered removed from Oklahoma Capitol grounds
- FDA review of OxyContin abuse-deterrent version put on hold by maker