South Carolina GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham says he will continue to try to block President Obama’s two nominees for high-level posts until he talks to survivors of the fatal Benghazi terror attacks.
Graham, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said he hopes there's a way to arrange interviews with five State Department employees so he can let the nominations move forward.
"All I want to do is talk to the survivors, protecting their security, protecting their identity, to find out exactly what did happen,” Graham told CNN’s “State of the Union.”
Graham said he would stall the nominations after a "60 Minutes" story in late October in which a former contractor at a British security company falsely claimed to be at the scene of the Benghazi assault.
CBS News admitted on Friday that it was wrong to trust a source, but Graham says his position remains unchanged.
The South Carolina lawmaker has been among the most outspoken Capitol Hill lawmakers regarding the September 11, 2012, attacks on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya.
Among his original concerns was whether the attacks were indeed sparked by outrage over an anti-Islamic video, as former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice and other administration officials originally said.
His pressure for answers eventually led to Rice withdrawing her name for consideration for the secretary of state job.
“Was it a protest? Was it an al Qaeda-inspired attack?” Graham asked again Sunday.
The two nominees are Janet Yellen for Federal Reserve chairman and Jeh Johnson for secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.
"I want to perform oversight,” Graham told CNN. “I'm not trying to prosecute a crime. I'm not trying to defend the British contractor."
The 2012 raid killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.
Graham and others argue the Obama administration tried to mislead the American people in the heat of a presidential campaign by playing down a terrorist attack on Obama's watch. Republicans have accused the administration of stonewalling their investigations.
The State Department has told Graham that it was concerned about congressional interviews with the survivors of the attack because of Justice Department advice that the survivors could be witnesses in a criminal trial and any interviews outside the criminal justice process could jeopardize a case.
The Associated Press contributed to this report