WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama’s choice of John Brennan to be the next CIA director hit a snag Tuesday when Republican South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham threatened to delay the nomination until the Obama administration provides answers on the deadly assault in Libya that killed the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans.
Graham, whose opposition helped scuttle U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice’s hopes of becoming secretary of state, said the Senate should not confirm any Obama nominee for the nation’s top spy post until the administration elaborates on the attack on the diplomatic mission in Benghazi.
“My support for a delay in confirmation is not directed at Mr. Brennan, but is an unfortunate, yet necessary, action to get information from this administration,” Graham said in a statement. “I have tried, repeatedly, to get information on Benghazi, but my requests have been repeatedly ignored.”
He added that the administration’s “stonewalling on Benghazi” must end.
Kevin Bishop, a spokesman for Graham, said late Tuesday that it’s possible that the senator would put a “hold” on Brennan’s nomination, but the lawmaker hopes he doesn’t have to take that step. In his statement, Graham signaled that he would try to slow the nomination.
The White House dismissed the politicization of the issue and pressed for the Senate to act quickly and deliberately on Brennan’s nomination.
“It would be unfortunate, I think, if in pursuit of this issue, which was highly politicized, the Senate would hold up the nomination of John Brennan to be director of the Central Intelligence Agency,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said.
Counterterrorism advisor John Brennan is nominated to be Director of the CIA by President Barack Obama at the White House on Monday, January 7, 2013, in Washington, DC. (Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/MCT)×