Rand Paul Refuses Airport Pat-Down

Posted January 23, 2012 at 10:54am

Updated: 12:21 p.m.

Sen. Rand Paul was “detained” at an airport in Nashville, Tenn., this morning after refusing to submit to a body pat-down by a Transportation Security Administration screener, the Kentucky Republican’s office has confirmed.

Paul, en route to Washington, D.C., was told a pat-down was necessary because the body scanner found an “anomaly,” according to Paul spokeswoman Moira Bagley. Paul offered to go through the scanner again but was told that a body pat-down was necessary. He was escorted out of the screening area after refusing to submit to the pat-down, according to a source familiar with the incident.

TSA spokesman Greg Soule said in a statement, “When an irregularity is found during the TSA screening process, it must be resolved prior to allowing a passenger to proceed to the secure area of the airport. Passengers who refuse to complete the screening process cannot be granted access to the secure area in order to ensure the safety of others traveling.”

The source familiar with the incident said Paul was not “detained” at any point but was taken out of the TSA screening area when he refused the pat-down. The source said Paul booked another flight and was rescreened “without incident.”