03/07/2013 12:46 pm ET Updated Mar 07, 2013

Lindsey Graham: John Brennan Has His Vote For CIA Director Because Of Rand Paul Filibuster

WASHINGTON -- Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said Thursday he would vote for CIA director nominee John Brennan because Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) filibustered his appointment over questions about the administration's drone program.

"I was going to vote against him until the filibuster, so he picked up one vote," Graham said, laughing to reporters in the Capitol.

"I thought Brennan was arrogant, a bit shifty," he said, but added that he was going to vote for Brennan because the vote had become a "referendum on the drone program."

"Where were all these people during the Bush administration? I never remember anybody accusing President [George W.] Bush of 'We're going to kill someone in a cafe,'" Graham said. (Paul, of course, was not in office during the Bush administration.)

Graham's reversal is notable since he had previously threatened to delay the nomination over the administration's account of the attack on the diplomatic mission in Benghazi. On Thursday, Graham said he had gotten what he wanted.

Graham qualified that he had "no problem" with Paul trying to get answers on whether the president has the authority to kill an American citizen inside the United States.

Paul held an old-fashioned talking filibuster that lasted almost 13 hours over Brennan's nomination. He objected to a letter he received from Attorney General Eric Holder in which the administration refused to rule out the option of killing an American citizen on U.S. soil.



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