Appearing on CBS’s Face the Nation, this morning, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) told Bob Schieffer that unless he gets full disclosure from the White House about what directives the President ordered on the night of the attack in Benghazi, he will block the nominations of both John Brennan and Chuck Hagel.
Graham used the example of John Bolton’s contentious nomination hearing in 2005 to justify his actions. Democrats had refused to confirm Bolton as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations because of their “grave concerns” about Bolton’s “diplomatic temperament”, and had demanded that the Bush administration
provide documents they said were needed to assess Bolton’sfitness for the job.
Joe Biden had said “no confirmation without information.”
I’ve pushed backagainst the Bush administration when they said Iraq was just a few deadenders. We know nothing about what the president did on the night ofSeptember 11 during a time of national crisis, and the American peopleneed to know what their commander in chief did, if anything, during thiseight-hour attack.
Schieffer asked Graham what he would do about it if they don’y give him an answer, and Graham suggested that Republicans could block the confirmations of Brennan to the CIA directorship, and Hagel to Sec. of Defense until the White House gives them an accounting.
Senator Graham asked, “did the president ever pick up thephone and call anyone in the Libyan government to help these folks? Whatdid the president do?”
Transcript via Newsbusters:
SCHIEFFER: But let me — I’m not sure I understand. What do you planto do if they don’t give you an answer? Are you going to put a hold onthese two nominations?
GRAHAM:Yes. Yes. Yes. I’m going to ask my colleagues, just like they did withJohn Bolton. Joe Biden said no confirmation without information. Noconfirmation without information. You know, when Secretary Clinton saidshe had a clear-eyed assessment of the threats in Libya, that proved,after this hearing, not to be true. The Department of Defense knew aboutthe cable coming from our Libyan ambassador saying he couldn’t defendthe consulate. This was on August 15th. They knew about thedeteriorating security situation. But the secretary of state didn’t knowany of this. So she was blind. The president was disengaged. And theDepartment of Defense never launched one airplane to help these folksfor seven and a half hours.
This is a complete system failure. And I’m going to get to the bottomof it. I don’t think it’s unfair to ask these questions. Quite frankly,how could they say, after Panetta and Dempsey said they knew it was aterrorist attack that night, how could the president say for two weeksafter the attack it was the result of a video? How could Susan Rice comeon to your show and say there’s no evidence of a terrorist attack whenour secretary of defense and chairman of the Joint Chiefs said they knewthat night? I think that was a misleading narrative three weeks beforeour election.