(CNN) – Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky is stressing his disapproval of the way former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton handled the deadly Benghazi attack, saying the potential 2016 presidential contender should be precluded from ever holding high office again.
Paul blasted the former secretary of state for saying in her Senate testimony earlier this year that she did not read the cables requesting more security for the Benghazi post in Libya.
"I find that inexcusable," Paul said Thursday night on CNN's Erin Burnett OutFront. "Libya's one of the five most dangerous places on the planet, probably, and if your ambassador's asking for more security and you don't read the cables and then you respond and say we don't have any security to give you, that is a really - it is a dereliction of duty,"
"The person who made that decision should never be in place or a position to make that decision again," he added. "I stand by that."
Paul, who's considering a presidential bid himself, made the same argument to Clinton during her testimony before a Senate committee in January over the September terror attack, which left the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other Americans killed.
"Had I been president at the time, and I found that you did not read the cables from Benghazi, you did not read the cables from Ambassador (Chris) Stevens, I would have relieved you of your post. I think it's inexcusable," he said.
While Clinton has stated she takes "responsibility" for the security of U.S. diplomats, she has also pointed to an independent review board's assessment that the security failures fell at the hands of the assistant secretary level and below. The same review board is now being investigated by the State Department's inspector general after the report received wide criticism.
Witnesses at Wednesday's House hearing on Benghazi disagreed with the review board's findings, saying the level of blame went higher up.
The senator from Kentucky reiterated his position Friday in an opinion piece.
"The evidence we had in January already suggested that Mrs. Clinton ignored repeated requests for more security in Benghazi. The new evidence we have today – and that continues to mount – suggests that at the very least, Mrs. Clinton should never hold high office again," he wrote in the op-ed for the Washington Times.
Paul is one of many Republicans who have targeted Clinton over the Benghazi attack in recent days, as the House held a controversial hearing Wednesday featuring three State Department employees who testified they were dissatisfied with how the Obama administration handled the attack.
Clinton is widely considered the leading contender for the Democratic presidential nomination at this point.