U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., was detained by Transportation Security Administration officials at the Nashville International Airport on Monday, according to his press secretary.
A spokesman for TSA said the agency is looking into the matter and will release a statement, but would not comment for this story. The account was also relayed by the senator’s father, Texas Congressman and Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul, who posted a message on Facebook and Twitter saying his son was being held by security personnel.
From ABC News:
Paul apparently set off an airport security full-body scanner, “on a glitch,” a spokesman in Paul’s office told ABC News.
The Paul staffer said TSA agents would not let Paul walk back through the body scanner they were demanding, according to the staffer, a full body pat-down.
But officials with the federal agency are pushing back against the claim and law enforcement has reportedly denied Paul was held in custody.
Paul has been critical of the federal agency since he took office last year. During a Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee meeting, Paul denounced the TSA for conducting invasive searches of U.S. citizens.
UPDATE:The TSA has released a statement denying Sen. Paul’s account that he was detained by federal officials at the Nashville airport. Instead, the transportation agency claims Paul refused to complete the screening process after an irregularity was found and was escorted out by Nashville police.
From the TSA:
“The passenger was not detained at any point. The passenger triggered an alarm during routine airport screening and refused to complete the screening process in order to resolve the issue. Passengers, as in this case, who refuse to comply with security procedures are denied access to the secure gate area. He was escorted out of the screening area by local law enforcement.
The passenger was screened by millimeter wave imaging technology using automated target recognition. This technology uses the same generic image for all passengers to further protect passengers privacy. When an alarm occurs a yellow box indicates where an anomaly is. A targeted pat down is used to resolve the alarm.”