The Washington Post

Lindsey Graham threatens to hold up confirmations of John Brennan, Chuck Hagel

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Sunday threatened to block the confirmations of President Obama's nominees for secretary of defense and head of the Central Intelligence Agency if the administration does not provide more information about its response to the deadly Sept. 11, 2012 attack on a diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, Libya.

"I don't think we should allow [John] Brennan to go forward for the CIA directorship,  [Chuck] Hagel to be confirmed as secretary of defense, until the White House gives us an accounting. Did the president ever pick up the phone and call anyone in the Libyan government to help these folks? What did the president do?" Graham said on CBS News' "Face The Nation."

Graham said that he would not attempt to filibuster, but nodded yes when asked if he was willing to put holds on the nominees, which essentially means asking for the courtesy of notification before the Senate majority leader moves ahead on a vote.

White House National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor responded to Graham by calling on the Senate to "swiftly" confirm Hagel and Brennan, and urged members not to "play politics" with their nominations.

Among other things, Graham is demanding more information about the president's actions on the night of the attack, which claimed the lives of four Americans, including Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens.

"I don't know what the president did that evening. I don't know if he ever called anyone," Graham said. "This was incredibly mismanaged. And what we know now -- this seems to be a very disengaged president."

Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) said on the same program that holding up the confirmations as Graham described would be "unprecedented and unwarranted " He defended the the administration, calling the idea that president was not engaged "completely wrong."

Sean Sullivan has covered national politics for The Washington Post since 2012.

The Freddie Gray case

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!

Campaign 2016 Email Updates

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!

Get Zika news by email

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!
Comments
Show Comments
The Democrats debated Thursday night. Get caught up on the race.
The Post's Chris Cillizza on the Democratic debate...
On Clinton: She poked a series of holes in Sanders's health-care proposal and broadly cast him as someone who talks a big game but simply can't hope to achieve his goals.

On Sanders: If the challenge was to show that he could be a candidate for people other than those who already love him, he didn't make much progress toward that goal. But he did come across as more well-versed on foreign policy than in debates past.
The PBS debate in 3 minutes
Quoted
We are in vigorous agreement here.
Hillary Clinton, during the PBS Democratic debate, a night in which she and Sanders shared many of the same positions on issues
South Carolina polling averages
Donald Trump leads in the polls as he faces rivals Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz heading into the S.C. GOP primary on Feb. 20.
South Carolina polling averages
The S.C. Democratic primary is Feb. 27. Clinton has a significant lead in the state, whose primary falls one week after the party's Nevada caucuses.
62% 33%
Fact Checker
Trump’s claim that his border wall would cost $8 billion
The billionaire's claim is highly dubious. Based on the costs of the Israeli security barrier (which is mostly fence) and the cost of the relatively simple fence already along the U.S.-Mexico border, an $8 billion price tag is simply not credible.
Pinocchio Pinocchio Pinocchio Pinocchio
Upcoming debates
Feb 13: GOP debate

on CBS News, in South Carolina

Feb. 25: GOP debate

on CNN, in Houston, Texas

March 3: GOP debate

on Fox News, in Detroit, Mich.

Campaign 2016
Where the race stands

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.