By CNN's Jason Seher
Sen. Lindsey Graham vowed on Sunday that he would continue to block President Barack Obama's nominations until Congress hears from Benghazi survivors.
The South Carolina lawmaker told CNN's Candy Crowley on "State of the Union" that he will place holds on any nomination put forth by the administration unless it makes available five survivors of the September 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya, who have been interviewed by State Department investigators but remain out of Congress' reach.
"I've been trying for a year to get these interviews without holds," Graham said.
Graham scoffed at any notion his maneuver amounts to political grandstanding, portraying his actions as a last resort and couching them as part of "trying to perform oversight."
"I don't want to hold anybody. All I want to do is talk to the survivors," Graham insisted. "I'm not trying to prosecute a crime."
Graham announced his intention to hold all of Obama’s nominations the day after CBS's "60 Minutes" aired a controversial report on the attacks. The newsmagazine has since pulled its report, saying that its eyewitness, a British contractor stationed in Libya, lied to reporter Lara Logan about what he saw on the ground.
When pressed by Crowley about whether the debunking of the piece would impact his stance, Graham told her it wouldn’t.
"I never asked for the British contractor. I didn't know he existed," Graham said.
By CNN's Jason Seher
After three days of talks focused on halting Iran's uranium enrichment efforts broke down Sunday morning, Sen. Lindsey Graham said Congress would not wait for the next round of negotiations.
Graham said he intends to put forward a measure that would mandate more sanctions on Iran, aimed at forcing the Middle Eastern nation to dismantle its nuclear weapons program - a move that runs counter to the interim steps sought by the negotiating parties gathered in Geneva, Switzerland.
"We're worried about the endgame, not some interim deal," Graham told CNN's chief political correspondent, Candy Crowley, on "State of the Union," repeatedly asserting that "you can't trust the Iranians" and questioning whether they actually intend to abandon their pursuit of nuclear weapons.
Graham said Iran's President Hassan Rouhani would have to comply with four separate preconditions in order to avoid a new round of crippling sanctions: Stop enriching uranium and other nuclear materials; dismantle centrifuges used in nuclear production; halt the country's plutonium-producing reactor; and place its fuel cycle under international control.
By Josh Levs
The government shutdown is "extremely damaging" to U.S. intelligence operations, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said Wednesday.
Clapper noted that he has worked in the intelligence field for 50 years, and "never seen anything like this."
The shutdown "seriously damages our ability to protect the safety and security of this nation," he told a Senate panel.
The law allows intelligence agencies to hold on to the employees needed to protect against "imminent threat to life or property," he noted. Following that guide, approximately 70% of employees were furloughed, he said.FULL STORY
By Elise Labott
International diplomacy hit a dead end Wednesday when the interim Egyptian government broke off talks to defuse the political crisis.
Egypt declared efforts to broker an agreement between the Muslim Brotherhood and the military-backed government a failure, putting an end to an intense effort by the United States, the European Union and other countries to end the stalemate sparked by the military's ouster of President Mohammed Morsy.
"These efforts have not achieved the hoped for results," the Egyptian presidency said in a statement on the end of the mediation. The statement placed blame on the Muslim Brotherhood.
The president thanked diplomats for mediation efforts but didn't take kindly to warnings from key U.S. senators in the region. FULL POST
By Ashley Killough and Gregory Wallace
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the suspect in federal custody for the Boston Marathon bombing, should be considered an enemy combatant only for interrogation purposes, not so he can be tried in a military tribunal, Sen. Lindsey Graham said Sunday.
"He is not eligible for military commission trial," the Republican senator from South Carolina said on CNN's "State of the Union." Graham argued Tsarnaev should be tried in a civilian trial in federal courts.
By Kevin Liptak
President Barack Obama's nominees for secretary of defense and CIA director could be held up by Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham unless the White House provides more information about its response to September's attack on an American diplomatic post in Libya.
The South Carolina lawmaker made the threat Sunday on CBS, using the phrase "no confirmation without information" in vowing to put a hold on the nominations of both John Brennan and Chuck Hagel unless the Obama administration provides more information about the Benghazi attack.FULL STORY
Saying he has "not forgotten about the Benghazi debacle," Sen. Lindsey Graham called for a delay in the confirmation process of John Brennan, the president's choice for CIA director, as investigations still continue surrounding the September 11, 2012 U.S. consulate attack in Libya.
"I do not believe we should confirm anyone as Director of the CIA until our questions are answered," Graham said in a statement.
The Republican senator from South Carolina has helped lead congressional efforts to address the deadly attack in Libya. He was one of several Republican senators who sharply questioned U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice and her role in the aftermath of the violence.
Days after the incident, Rice appeared on television news shows and described on the violence as a spontaneous attack spurred by outrage over an anti-Islam film. The intelligence community, however, later called it a terrorist attack.
Rice used unclassified talking points from the intelligence community in her television appearances, which apparently went through multiple drafts before landing in her hands. In briefings to Congress, intelligence officials said the initial draft was more specific in linking individuals to 'al Qaeda.' But when the document was sent to the rest of the intelligence community for review, there was a decision to change 'al Qaeda' to a broader term of 'extremists' for the final version.