Sen. Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) vowed to continue his hold on all of President Obama's nominees until the five State Department witnesses interviewed by the Accountability Review Board come before Congress to testify Sunday on CNN's State of the Union.
Host Candy Crowley attempted to corner Graham into backing off those demands in light of CBS's decision to retract a recent 60 Minutes interview with a British contractor who was purportedly a Benghazi witness.
Graham replied the retraction is irrelevant to his demands considering he never knew the British contractor existed. Moreover, Graham said there is evidence independent of the British security officer that Benghazi was a preplanned attack "you could see coming for months."
The senior senator from South Carolina indicated he wants to interview the American State Department witnesses who could shed light on key questions such as whether the Obama administration ignored security threats on the ground or if anyone who was present during the attack ever reported a protest:
CANDY CROWLEY: But the 60 Minutes story was not true. Will you now end your threat to place a hold on the president's nominees?
LINDSEY GRAHAM: No, my request has been going on for a year to talk to the five survivors of the State Department. I never asked for the British contractor. I didn't know he exited. We've written one letter to the president, myself, Kelly Ayotte, and John McCain, two to Secretary Kerry. On the 24th of September we said we would like to interview the survivors. The five State Department officials who have been interviewed by the administration but not by Congress. The 60 Minutes story says the attack on the compound was not a protest but a preplanned Al Qaeda attack that you could see coming for months. And people who said that were not the British Contractor. I want to ask the survivors who never been interviewed by the Congress — please let me just finish here — did you report a protest protest? Did you ever indicate there was a protest? Did you say this was a terrorist attack from the beginning when you were interviewed by the FBI four days later, did you ever mention a protest? If the survivors, Candy, never said there was a protest, where did the story come from? And did these survivors, would they tell me if I asked them, had a chance to, was there inadequate security in your mind? Could you see Al Qaeda build up in Benghazi? Did you tell anybody about the threat of Al Qaeda and how did they respond? To me, that's the essence of what I'm trying to get at.